One of our most ambitious projects for 2023 hit the streets on Friday 22 September, when the Okehampton Folk Trail was launched. Made possible with help from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and photographs kindly supplied by the Museum of Dartmoor Life, Okehampton.
The 1.5-mile town trail was officially opened with a concert of the songs at St. James Chapel(the weather being too inclement to walk the route!).
A unique 1.5-mile town trail illustrated by traditional regional folk songs which link local stories to eight locations along the route.
A route map and all the information about the songs and the stories are in an Okehampton Folk Trail leaflet and here. The songs – recorded by Wren Music’s musicians and singers – can be heard at each of the stops on the map.
The route starts on West Okement Bridge on West Street and ends back in the town centre, at St James Chapel. The trail is entirely on paths with only slight inclines and takes roughly an hour, allowing for time to stop and listen to the songs at each location. Some of the specific locations are now residential buildings, we have made slight adjustments so that all the stopping points are public spaces.
The route map also has historical information about some of the other locations and streets along the trail, such as Northfield Road where there are still remnants of when it was once a self-contained community full of shops, and the row of houses in North Street which used to be mill houses on the banks of the East Okement River.
The route and songs are:
- West Okement Bridge – Rosemary Lane
- Peel House – Botany Bay
- Public footpath alongside Castle Ham Lodge, Castle Road, the site of the old workhouse – A Maiden Sweet
- Fairplace Sensory Garden – Harvest Song
- St James Chapel – Coast of Barbary
- The Moor gate mural at junction between East Street, Crediton Road and Northfield Road – Twankydillo
- Ebenezer Hall in North Street – My Coffin Shall Be Black
- Fore Street Plaque in front of St James Chapel – Joan’s Ale