Irishman's Wall, Belstone, Dartmoor National Park

Irishman's Wall, Belstone, Dartmoor National Park

We include Irishman's Wall on 'Holiday in Dartmoor' as a point of reference. It's a useful landmark on the edge of the north moor to use when exploring this section of Dartmoor National Park.

In his 'Guide to Dartmoor', William Crossing tells the story of the wall:

'The portion of this wall running down the hill from Belstone Tor towards the East Ockment, as also that part of it on the lower Blackaven, is known as Irishman's Wall. The story goes that some years ago a project was formed by an Irishman to enclose a part of the moor here, and for the purpose of carrying out the work he brought a number of his countrymen to the locality. They set to work building the wall, creating no little surprise among the Dartmoor folk, and showing their contempt for the rough, damp ground over which they had to walk to their labour by going bare-footed. The men of Belstone and Okehampton said nothing, but let the work proceed. But they had, notwithstanding, no intention of allowing it to be completed. They saw that the taking in of such an immense tract would cut off their commons from the forest. Consequently, when they considered that a fitting time had arrived, they met in force and made such breaches in the wall as to render it useless. The outworks of the Irishmen having thus been carried by storm, he evacuated his position, and the left the commoners victorious.'

We've positioned Irishman's Wall on Google maps so zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting to see its location.

Irishman's Wall cuts across the southern part of Belstone Tors. On the ground, when walking in the area, you'll see it's ruined so the wall is easy to cross.