Capturing Conan Doyle’s Dartmoor

Wednesday 4th May 2022 7:27 am
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Chris Bloodworth’s spooky image of Nun’s Cross Farm near Princetown. Picture: Chris Bloodworth

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AN exhibition devoted to the detective Sherlock Holmes novel The Hound of the Baskervilles is taking place in the National Park Visitor Centre, Princetown until June 6.

Places in the famous novel by Arthur Conan Doyle, written in 1901 and inspired by Dartmoor’s unique landscape, are being brought to life by local photographer Chris Bloodworth.

It’s also an opportunity for people to visit the place where Conon Doyle stayed while writing the iconic crime mystery. The exhibition is free to visit.

Formerly the Duchy Hotel, it is believed Conan Doyle wrote part of the story while staying there. Not only did he find inspiration in the moor’s forbidding-looking bogs but it’s said the driver of his horse and coach was named Baskerville.

Chris, who lives near the National Park, said he’s pleased to be showing his work.

‘I live nearby and have been lucky enough to work on projects celebrating the landscape’s beauty,’ he said. ‘Dartmoor inspires so many with its diverse, bleak and beautiful landscape; it’s easy to see why it inspired Conon Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles.’

Rebecca Martin, Dartmoor National Park Authority’s visitor services manager, said: ‘Chris has exhibited his work with us before and we’re delighted to welcome him back. People can discover more through his exhibition then venture outside and explore the wonderful open landscape around Princetown. It will make for a great adventure into Dartmoor’s landscape and the famous story inspired by it.’

Designated in 1951 Dartmoor National Park is the largest and highest upland in southern Britain. It is of international importance for its Bronze Age archaeology, blanket bogs, upland heaths and oak woods, and of national importance for its valley mires, Rhôs pasture and grass moor.

Rebecca adds: ‘With 734km public rights of way and 46,000 hectares of open access land it is home to a variety of wildlife and habitats. It’s particularly noted for rare lichens, butterflies and insects, some of which are so rare they’re only found on Dartmoor.

‘Dartmoor National Park Authority works with communities, landowners, commoners, businesses and other organisations to look after it and promote its conservation and enjoyment.

‘The authority runs National Park centres at Princetown, Haytor and Postbridge. The centres are for everyone whether that’s first-time holidaymakers or locals and are brimming with gifts and products including ceramics, handmade soap, local wool products and prints from Dartmoor artists.

‘Staffed by friendly, knowledgeable information advisers, the centres stock books and walking guides, nature-inspired activity books for children and toys to encourage a love for the outdoors.’

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