The Touchstone

This poem is inscribed on the  MILLENNIUM  STONE,  the first menhir to be erected on Dartmoor for many years. It stands on the open moor near Princetown, Devon.

The Touchstone


This stone touching

Open moor and sky

Granite land mark

Raised to stand

For all times

As one time;

Now, then and ever

In love and beauty

Our story is a book

Always open

At the centre

Half of experiences

Half of

Un-named hopes.



‘John Powls … Poet
AD 2000’

(Poem and inscription submitted by the author)

The fuller explanation printed below is an extract from  the ‘Legendary Dartmoor’ website at:  The Touchstone, Dartmoor


. . .  this menhir is probably the first one to be erected on Dartmoor since the Bronze Age. To mark the millennium, John Powls decided it would be a fitting monument to celebrate the new century with and put his idea to the National Park. At the time John Powls was the ‘poet in residence’ with the national park and so he wrote a poem to be inscribed on the stone. The stone was erected on Rundlestone Crest during the summer solstice in 1999. There was then a dedication ceremony held during the winter solstice in December 1999. The stone for the menhir came from the old prison quarry where Powls was the one-time governor and the poem was carved on it by Kevin Andrews of Polzeath in Cornwall. The touchstone stands at a proud 2 metres from the ground.


5 thoughts on “The Touchstone

  1. Thanks for the kind words. I must declare a special interest. I came across ‘The Touchstone’ as the author is a 2nd cousin of mine.


  2. Pingback: ROUTE 66 … Open Road For Promiseland – DRIVING | Roland's Ragbag

  3. Thanks for the link Roland, another area of interest of mine…standing stones, pass on my regards to your 2nd cousin, great idea and poem

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