Beware the Chains!

Across the north of Exmoor stretches a remote and barren area of boggy land. The Chains – named for the strength they draw from each other – is a bleak place thought to be home to lost souls and demons.

In the 18th century convicts were walked to the Chains from the town of Taunton. Those who survived the journey had no chance of escape, manacled to each other.

Even during the warmer months of summer the wicked winds would roar across the moor, ripping into the flesh of anyone exposed.

Documents held in the records office at Taunton testify to the number of men and women who perished in this way. It was a bitter end to bitter lives - left to rot without food or shelter.

Walkers cross this stretch with care. Boggy even during a drought, one can feel the hands of the departed reach up, trying to suck the hapless walker to his death.

The Chains are no place for man or beast.