The latest Ranger Ralph event, Art Attack, took place at Higher Uppacott, a traditional Dartmoor Longhouse owned by the National Park Authority. Ranger Ralph members were treated to a busy afternoon of fun and games lead by Ranger Ella Briens and Historic Buildings Officer Val Harrison.
In glorious weather people were firstly given a tour of this fantatsic building by Val. Imaginations were really stirred as they looked at the special features of this medieval building, explaining its uses, the planned orientation of the shippon, pointing out the original trusses and age old blackened thatch – what would life have been like here over 600 years ago!
‘Uppacott has an amazing atmosphere and it always feels like a real privilege to step inside and almost step back in time’ exclaimed one of the visitors.
After exploring the buildings there was then the opportunity for some traditional arty fun with a medieval twist – modelling gargoyles and green men out of clay, or adding to the scale model of Uppacott, filling it with plastercine figures to bring it to life – such as examples of furniture, food and livestock, an open fire in the living quarters, and even some roosting bats!!!
There was also the opportunity to trace the importance of the wool trade from moor to market, sketching out giant charcoal scrolls, filled with sheep, pack ponies, medieval bridges and markets – putting everyone in the picture of how important wool would have been for the people of Uppacott.
Then it was time to try out medieval games and a round of skittles – followed by some apple bobbing – not really sure if I can substantiate medieval origins here, but it ’twas the season’ and went down a treat, with only one wet jumper.
So ended another successful Ranger Ralph event with a big thank you to Ranger Bill Allen for helping to put this event together.