Long ago when the world was young, there was a lovely nymph called Tamara who was born of the spirits of the Earth in a cavern. She was not happy in the darkness, but ran seeking the light of day, much to the consternation of her parents who feared she might fall a victim to the giants of the Earth.

Local road

Local road, west of the village

Tamara saw no fear. She was young and beautiful and missed no opportunity to bask in the sunshine of the upper world. One day there arose from his dark abode a son of one of the giants and his name was Torridge.

Looking wonderingly on the world of light, he eventually espied the pretty nymph. She saw him too and fled across the hills with Torridge in pursuit. After much searching he found her under a little gorse bush in Moorwinstow. He was greatly enamoured with the graceful nymph and the affection he had for her was eventually returned by Tamara, who found Torridge to be such a gentle giant.

Tamara's parents soon missed her and went in search of their straying child. When they emerged into the upper world they took the form of gnomes and they possessed strange powers. They found Tamara at last, sitting beside her lover and they were very angry. Her father then called upon the spirits and Torridge fell into a deep sleep; but Tamara would not leave her gentle giant. Her father was in such a rage he cursed her so violently that the pretty nymph dissolved in tears which became a crystal stream and then a river, flowing away to the ocean.



At last Torridge awoke. He realised what had happened to him and in anguish and fury he fled to his rocky home in the hills. Then the great giant, his father, knowing that now Tamara would be a river for evermore, beseeched the spirits to transform his son into a stream which would become a river, so that he could join her forever.

Sad indeed it was however, that Torridge in his haste to follow Tamara, mistook the way she had gone and now he flows on and on and forever, seeking always but never finding his beloved nymph Tamara.

Extract from the writings of local historian Cecil Collacott

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