Adam Galpin took these photos yesterday evening after the ancient clapper bridge was restored yesterday. Flooding had washed the stones away a few months ago, but everything is now back to what it’s looked for centuries.
Tag: Tarr Steps
In and around the river Barle
Photos by Paul Sparks, taken at and near Tarr Steps.
Tarr Steps is an ancient clapper bridge, possibly dating back to 1000BC. It is a Grade 1 listed building and Scheduled Ancient Monument, crossing the River Barle about 6.5 miles upstream from Dulverton.
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:
Autumnal bliss on Exmoor
13 miles of Autumnal bliss this morning, with a slightly ropey footbridge crossing Dulverton – Tarr Steps circularLewis Winter, 24 October 2021
A day out on Horseback
From Hawkridge to Tarr Steps. Photos by Caroline Dodd.
Autumn on Exmoor
A colourful walk along the River Barle at Tarr Steps.
Photos by Dale Cherry.
Exmoor – where money grows on trees
For centuries and across cultures, people have attributed trees with special powers. In some countries, trees are covered in red ribbons or notes, and throughout the UK, coins play a special role. One of the money trees can be found near Tarr Steps on Exmoor, as photographed by Charlie Hickman (photo above the headline).
The wishing tree is studded with coins, hammered in by villagers and tourists with the help of stones. People used to believe that sticking a coin into a wishing tree would pass an illness to the tree – and onto the person who pulled the coin out again. The custom goes back to the beginning of the 18th century; one of them, an oak wish tree in the Scottish Highlands, gained fame when Queen Victoria visited it in 1877.
So far we have been unable to find out how old the wishing tree is at Tarr Steps. If you have any further information about this, please put them in the comments below!