The Gold Rush

29/09/2013 - 01:16


“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.”
(Jim Bishop)


The tumbling waters of the Aune as they make their way over and through the granite bedrocks of Dartmoor National Park, in early Autumn.



The river is known by the names of Avon (from the Brythonic word Abona, meaning 'river'... the Welsh Celtic version is Afon), but more often it is referred to by the folk of south Devon by the name Aune  - which is derived from Old Norse word au(dh)n - meaning ‘wasteland’, or a ‘desolate place’ - which fits the description of the source of this river - in a bleak and boggy mire to the west of Ryder’s Hill, high on the southern side of the moors, rather well.



The Vikings of the 9th Century had a notable presence in the South West of England. It is probable that the moorland place known as Grimspound has its origins from a Norse word from the old Norse word Grimr  which was an variant name for Odin.The word 'pound' on Dartmoor to a walled enclosure. Lundy Island to the North of Devon again was known to have been visited by the Vikings The name Lundy is believed to come from the old Norse word for "puffin island" (Lundey), lundi being the Norse word for a puffin and ey, an island. The Ness at the mouth of the River Teign is likely to have come from the Old Norse Nes, meaning a headland. Devon has been left with a mixture of Brythonic, Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse place names.


The Aune is an enchanting wild river from Lydia Bridge at the edge of Dartmoor National Park, all the way upstream. The Gorge section from Shipley Bridge upwards is outstanding in its ruggedness.


Despite the footpath that runs alongside the valley, it has an ancient feel to it, descending into the gorge and scrambling with great care around its very slippery slabs leads one in to views that have a wilderness feel.


Fine photographs can be made from higher up, but this is a river that invites the curious, lures them with viewpoints that are more raw and visceral. If you have the agility, the confidence & an inquisitive nature then descend into gorge to traverse its various outcrops... fortune favours the bold.





“In a Wonderland they lie, Dreaming as the days go by, Dreaming as the summers die:
Ever drifting down the stream - Lingering in the golden gleam - Life, what is it but a dream?”

(Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass )




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