We arrived in this small Devon village and found a very informative display board about the whetstone mining in the area. We also met a gentleman called John who told us more about the industry and pointed out where to look for the mines.
I had better point out that the Devonshire "batt" is a scythe stone. A scythe stone is used to sharpen scythes, which need to be sharpened many times a day. The scythe was used for cutting everything, from grass, wheat, weeds and scrub.
Dan and I of course had to pick up a couple of likely looking stones to take home and try out. There is a bit of hard chert mixed in with the sandstone which is too hard for sharpening with.
I am slowly forming a collection of natural stones, most of which are very hard and fine stones like those from Charnley Forest. These "batts" are certainly on the other end of the scale. I would also be amazed if I was to find a whole "batt" at a sale.
I would now also like to find out if there is anything in the middle of the region of a 1000grit, that was mined in the UK.