The story about the ‘money tree’ at Tarr Steps

The money tree on Exmoor at Tarr Steps is well-known, and over the years many people have asked what it is all about.

Yesterday evening, quite late, Cathy McCulloch told the story on Twitter how it all started 54 years ago with her dad:

54 years ago an 8 yr old daughter of a barrister threw a strop. She refused to walk further on a trek around Tarr Steps. She wanted a pony. Her father, who had the most amazing brain & imagination – who’d battled this order for a long time – stopped, pulled a 3d piece out of His trouser pocket & said to his stroppy 8 yr old “Darling it’s not fir me to decide if u can have a pony in Ealing Broadway It’s for the log fairies.” With that, he hammered that 3d coin into a log by the Barle. Wishes were made. A pony never lived in Ealing Bdwy. But what did happen was far greater than that. Coins from all 4 corners of the world were hammered into that log. For 54 years that child has revisited & brought her children & they’ve brought theirs. Today, on the eve of my 62nd birthday I stood & touched the 3d that my father had Touched. I felt him in my soul as I stood there touching his 3d, that his hands had clumsily but deftly held. I miss Dad so much. If you go to Tarr Steps walk to the logs, & make your own wish. My wish is ~ well I can’t tell you because it’s only the log that knows. I miss him.

Cathy McCulloch, 3 July 2022 via Twitter

So next time you are at Tarr Steps, add your own coin and make a wish. If you can, take a photo and share it with us and Cathy on Twitter.

Here are the photos Cathy posted with her text:

My 4 days on Exmoor….

Text and Photos by Sophie Jemma Rose

Autumn 2018

M Y  4  D A Y S  O N  E X M O O R.

My heart , my soul and my childhood.

My granddad who sadly passed away two years ago aged 98 used to cycle to and from Porlock pre world war 2 he would go every year when he was a teenager. Then when he had his own children ( my dad being one of two) started taking them to stay in and around Exmoor. From the early 1960’s onwards.

And when I was born in 1995 my family took me and have taken me nearly every year since! I am now 23 and Exmoor has always been and will always be my favourite place. It’s my happy place and the one place where I feel home even though I’m away.

My parents will be retiring there in the near future and I can’t wait to make more memories and to bring my future children there to see and experience the magic Exmoor brings.

Home and already planning and excited to be back!

By Sophie Jemma Rose

Exmoor Memories: Exploring Exmoor….

I first went to Exmoor as a teenager with my parents staying at Porlock Caravan Park: I remember hearing the sheep in the field next to the caravans. 25+ years later I was back camping with my husband and dogs at the same site. We holidayed in and around Porlock most years since and will be spending Christmas there this year. We love the scenery, the peacefulness and the wildlife – it’s a perfect place to unwind, enjoy the fresh air and appreciate how beautiful the area is. Favourite walks include Dunkery, Watersmeet, Valley of Rocks, Tarr Steps, Horner Water, Porlock Weir to Culbone, up and around Hawkcombe, and last year we found Bats Castle. This was a stunning walk up and over the grounds of the castle until you reach the old settlement. Up here you can see for miles. We came across Red Deer and Exmoor ponies. It was quite a steep descent in parts especially with an eager terrier and two Lurchers who all have keen noses! The dogs enjoyed being able to cool off in the river at Gallox bridge before we got back to the car. The area is perfect for dogs, it doesn’t bother us or our dogs that they need to be on lead in certain areas, they get plenty of exercise and stimulation from the new places and smells, we are all ready to relax after a day out exploring Exmoor.

Rachel Rice-Ault


Exmoor Memories: Why the Stuarts came to Doniford 

Stuart Hubster Lancaster has recently shared some Exmoor photos with us on our Facebook page. He and his family have just returned home from a holiday in Doniford with many trips across Exmoor.

This is what Stuart told us:

Right here goes with the story of why we decided to go to Doniford Bay in the beginning ! It was about 20 years ago I was helping on a removal from Northampton to Williton, there was no room in the front of the lorry so I was in the back looking out as we travelled !

I can remember seeing the sign saying welcome to Warchet. From that day I wanted to go back and visit. It was nine years ago that we were looking to go on our first real family holiday – the now wife left it to me to decide where lol so Doniford Bay it was.

From that first visit we fell in love as the area, the people and the way of life was so relaxed. Since that first visit we pine for our yearly holiday!

We’ve seen Exmoor in glorious sunshine, in wind and rain so as you can probably guess it’s grown to be part of our hearts .

The ponies, the vast flowing hills covered in purple heather, the sheep running here and there across the roads which I love driving, we have so many pictures to choose from it was hard, but there’s some sunset pictures and a few various ones from on top of Exmoor itself all I can say is #heartslieinexmoor 

Regards the Lancasters of Northampton x


Exmoor Memories 

Yesterday we shared this photo by Wayne Durant on our Facebook page. It shows the sunset between Lynmouth and Porlock. The photo triggered an Exmoor Memory:

You share the most beautiful photos of the area. When I was a young fella growing up in England, my Dad used to tell me stories about his young life with my Mother when they used to ride their tandem up the hill time after time between Lynton and Lynmouth just for the exilleration of riding back down.

David Bassman

Do you have any memories of Exmoor? We would love to hear from you.

Email your story to 💛

Exmoor Rambling – 06 February 2017

On Exmoor it’s not hard to find a peaceful place to sit with your thoughts. In fact, you’re spoilt for choice. However, All Saints’ church in Dulverton is somewhere we visit quite often for a ponder. It holds a special place in our hearts but it’s a long story and one for me to tell later on.

Yesterday was no exception and we popped in to feast our eyes on the stunning display of snowdrops in the graveyard there. Taking a pew, so to speak, on a wooden bench under the shelter of the church, we feasted our eyes on the carpet of snowdrops in front of us. The graveyard is awash with flowers at springtime, with crocus popping their heads up through every given spot of grass. But today it was the delicate snowdrop that stole the show, with just a few purple crocus beginning to make an appearance. We sat for a while, watching the woodsmoke curling out of the chimney tops above Dulverton and listened to a robin singing his heart out as we rested. Absolutely breathtaking and so very, very peaceful.

Read more by Exmoor Rambling on their blog.

Exmoor Rambling – 28 January 2017

Neither of us know which way we’re going to turn, or where we’ll end up, once we’re up on the moor. We go where our feet take us and surprise ourselves sometimes. Tomorrow though, I’ve made an executive decision to sit awhile up above Molland as it’s one of my thinking spots and where we’ll both be blowing in the wind one day.

Whether it be sunny, raining, snowing, windy or a right pea souper of a day – it will always be a favourite place full of memories for us both. We’ve sat in freezing weather down on the slopes waiting for this and that to appear and wandered down into valley amongst the bones and boggy bits. We’ ve hidden in the gorse and watched the deer and we’ve climbed the hilly bits and sat and watched the kestrels, buzzards and the cuckoos. It’s a very special place.

Mmm… looks like we might need our waterproofs tomorrow. 

Read more by Exmoor Rambling on their blog.