There is a wealth of history, myths and legends surrounding Bodmin Moor, when combined with its wildness, hostility and harsh weather. It can easily be characterised as a haunting, moody and mysterious landscape of an ancient character.
Bodmin Moor has been occupied since prehistoric times, in the Bronze Age the climate was warmer and soils more fertile. Hundreds of thatched stone round houses stood on the lower slopes of Rough Tor, the remains of these settlements and their ancient fields can still be seen today. As can ancient remains of ritual, ceremonial and burial sites, at the henge at Castilly. Not forgetting the high grounds with is megalithic tombs, cairns, standing stones and monuments over 4,000 years old.
There is no doubt that the moor is full of history, it is this history that has turned into myths and legends like that of King Arthur and our relatively modern Beast of Bodmin Moor. The moor is said to be haunted by the ghosts of lost souls and that of John Tregeagle, once Steward of the Lord of Lanhydrock. For robbing his master and extorting unfair rent from his tenants, he was sentenced and after death, to carry out a series of grim tasks ending with him baling out the famous Dozmary Pool on Bodmin Moor with a limpet shell with a hole in it! The devil and his dogs are supposed to hunt Tregeagle across the moor at nights. It is said that their cries, wailing and moaning can heard all the way over to St Cleer.
Perhaps his cries can be heard and that of the devils and his dog, but I think it is merely the wildlife of the moor. Deer bellowing, foxes screeching, owls hooting, combined with the wailing winds. It is this that has inspired my latest works on the moor's wildlife and their sounds.
The Bellowing Stag
As the day turns to night and the skies transform on the hills of the moor, the view beyond is lost in the deepness of dusk. All is still and cold when a thundering of hoove's are heard ahead. Out of the murky blue, a doe gallops tentatively over the mossy rocks, picking her path as she rushes on ahead. A sudden roaring bellow hastens the doe, as a stag storms on behind her ready to herd her back to his patch.
To purchase this piece and for more information and photos check it out on my website at https://www.nsltextileart.co.uk/product-page/the-bellowing-stag