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The Way of the Moor

The Way of the Moor
Photo Information
Copyright: Steve Fry (suzley) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1836 W: 318 N: 3045] (23928)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-10
Categories: Mood
Camera: Lumix DMC G 3
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Dartmoor [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2012-02-16 2:22
Viewed: 1054
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note

Deancoombe Weaver

Deancombe is a small sleepy hamlet that is tucked under the southern edge of Dartmoor. This was a busy cloth producing area with Buckfast as its centre. Many years ago there was a weaver called Knowles living in a tiny house in Deancombe. He was reputed to be one of the most clever and skilful weavers on Dartmoor. His weft was taught and his weave straight and always the finished knap was of the highest quality. One would have thought that with all his talent he would be a contented soul but no far from it. Alongside his long list of skills ran a long list of his faults. His neighbours considered him to be greedy, selfish, evil and a wicked 'wag-tongue' (gossip), basically he was despised throughout the area. But despite this Knowles prospered and became very rich soon adding 'miserly' to his list of traits. Every day he would sit up in his weaving loft and work from sun rise to candle snuff. The old shepherds up on the moor would often use his candlelight as a beacon to walk home. If the weaver knew this he would probably have charged them for the privilege. But death is a great leveller and one day, sat at his loom he passed away. Oddly enough, although he was much hated his funeral was a splendid affair, mourners came from all over the area and it is said that the food and drink at his wake was as plentiful as a Harvest Home. As the ale and cider flowed people wished old Knowles a safe journey and all gave their condolences to his son Fernley. Now Fernley came from a different mould to his father, he was kind, caring and generous to a fault and this was probably why so many people came to the funeral, not for the memory of his father but to support Fernley. Once the last mourners 'cider swayed' their way home Fernley lit a candle and climbed up the creaky stairs to his bedroom. Lying in bed he started to think of his future, clearly money was not going to be a problem but somehow he had now to prove that his weaving skills were as good as his fathers, after all it was he who had taught Fernley the skills of the trade. So as his eyes started to close he vowed to be up at first light to continue the family business. The following morning he woke with the crowing of the dunghill cock and went downstairs to make some breakfast. The first job of the day was to light the peat fire and as he stacked the turves on the hearth he heard a familiar but heart stopping sound, for coming from the upstairs weaving loft was the steady clunk, clunk of the loom. Initially he dismissed it as being the open window blowing in the breeze. But then he realised that it was too rhythmic for that, it was definitely somebody working the loom. With clammy palms gripping the banister he edged his way up the stairs and softly walked to the weaving loft door. Somebody was working the loom and as he peeked through a crack in the door he saw who - it was the ghost of his father. There was a chill in the air and a pungent fusty smell coming from the room, Fernley found himself transfixed, what should he do? His first thought was to get out of the house which he managed to do at great speed. Once outside in the clear morning air he knew he must get help and probably the best place for that was the local priest. He ran straight down to the church and luckily found the vicar saying his morning prayers. He explained his ghostly encounter and apart from stopping to get his 'bell, book and candle' the priest rushed up to the weavers cottage. The two men stood in the kitchen and listened to the sound of the loom. The priest went to the bottom of the stairs and in a stern voice demanded that the lost soul "come down stairs", nothing stirred, the priest then said "this is no place for a lost soul, come down and return to your grave". The loom stopped and an eerie voice replied " I will as soon as I've worked out my quill" (shuttle full of wool). The priest was having none of it, "No, get down here this minute, your life's work is done and it is time to return to your resting place under the churchyard yew". Amazingly the loom fell silent and the ghost along with its stench and chill came downstairs. As the weaver's spectre came into the room the priest threw some holy water into its face and then recited a prayer whilst at the same time ringing the bell. The ghost let out a spine chilling scream and before their eyes turned into a huge black dog. With bible in hand the priest commanded the dog to heel and led it outside, down the lane and into Dean Wood. Here the procession climbed up the burn until they came to a pool. The priest walked over to an old oak tree and picked up an acorn shell. This he gave to the dog and said "take this shell and when you have emptied this pool with it you will be granted eternal rest".

The ghost of the old weaver was never seen again but to this day the moorfolk will never go near that pool at noon or midnight because it is said that when the church clock strikes twelve the black dog can be seen frantically trying to bale out the pool with the acorn shell.

Fortuna, parasbhalla, chrisJ, brech, mvdisco, mamcg, jean11-3 has marked this note useful
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To jean11-3: Hello Jeansuzley 1 02-18 13:01
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Critiques [Translate]

Bom dia Steve,

Another great job with excellent POV and DOF, fantastic lighting, very beautiful and vivid colors.


It seems as if "hope" emerges after darkness, dear Steve!

Superb DOF where you "highlight" the colorful part of the location so nicely.
Sharpness and POV are excellent, and clarity is amazing.
The silhouettes in the FG give nice contrast to the autumn scene wonderfully.
Well done!

Kind regards,

  • Great 
  • chrisJ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4436 W: 640 N: 9631] (55122)
  • [2012-02-16 2:39]

Hi Steve

A dark & moody atmosphere on account of the cloudy sky. Good colour & sharpness. A marvellous Autumn scene with nice fg silhouettes. Tfs!

Wow! wchat the atmosphire! Very, very good picture, TFS.

  • Great 
  • linus Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1825 W: 13 N: 1442] (15482)
  • [2012-02-16 6:46]

Hi Steve,
A dramatic shot. The dark clouds nicely balance the dark areas in the FG.

Good timing on this one, to catch the sun out. THe beautiful autumn colors really pop out with the band of darkness at the top and bottome. Beauty!

  • Great 
  • sela Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 634 W: 11 N: 1379] (8213)
  • [2012-02-16 8:33]

HI Steve, this is a breathtaking capture of a wonderful landscape, very impressive mood, perfect light management.
Regards Rose

  • Great 
  • nicou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2777 W: 0 N: 5194] (50772)
  • [2012-02-16 8:54]





Hi Steve
A fine well exposed shot of this amazing lighting and bright area
The cloud layers are so beautiful

Wow! Awesome timing and great capture! And thank you for the wonderful information about this place. Nice to have an image to go with the info, very effective. Love the sunshine in the middle of a stormy clouds. Very well done, tfs.

  • Great 
  • rychem Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 736 W: 13 N: 634] (21242)
  • [2012-02-16 10:06]

Amazing contrast between the warm light and menacing shadows and dark clouds, excellent image

Hi Steve,
Beautiful landscape and well composed,
good colors and light,
excellent point of view and details,
very well done.

  • Great 
  • jackal Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 802 W: 26 N: 775] (8719)
  • [2012-02-16 14:30]

Hi Steve, great light, love the strong blacks in the image, sorry don't have time to read your note

  • Great 
  • mamcg Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 459 W: 66 N: 1002] (10050)
  • [2012-02-16 21:41]

Hi Steve,
It happens not every day but some time and you were lucky that you trapped that in a perfect moment, it has beauty as your NOTE has much detail about but last word is beautiful, TFS.

very dynamic image with such strong lines, excellent exposure and composition in this, very nice

Hello Steve, what a dramatic picture!
The colours are beautiful.The sunlight lighting up the central part of the landscape is amazing.
Did you do much to the shot in PP if you don't mind my asking?
The farm on th r/h/s makes a good focal point.
I enjoyed the story, thanks.
Tfs, regards Jean.

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