The railway, however, has not added to the picturesqueness of the parish, since it has brought slates to it from the Cornish and Welsh quarries, which have taken the place of the thatch that covered many of the cottages in former years. No longer does the sweet aroma of the peat fires greet one, but it's fragrance has been supplanted by the smoke and fumes of c6al and petroleum, and there is perhaps only one house in the parish following the ancient practice of burning peat, although more as luxury than necessity.
But a day may come when Rights of Turbary are considered valuable and peat is again dug from the turf ties, as there are many places on the Moor and adjacent land which abound with this most useful fuel.
Unlike Ireland, the Devon Moors have yielded very little Bog Oak. One specimen however was found some years ago in the parish by the tenant of Cholwich Town, who, on making an excavation in some boggy land for the foundation of a wall he was about to build, came across a large tree in it, about 9 ft. below the surface of the ground, and though decayed on the outside, the heart was sound enough to have a large picture frame made from it, in which he enclosed an engraving of his landlord.
In olden times, the Squires of Cornwood were ardent promoters of sport, for a record shows that about 1740 Mr. W. Savery of Slade kept a pack of hounds, which brought his huntsman to a tragic end, as on visiting the kennel in the dead of night, to quiet the pack, the hounds, not recognising him in night attire, attacked and devoured him.
About that time Mr. Thomas Pearse of Fardel also kept a pack. At a later date Sir John Rogers of Blachford kept 24 couples of hounds and six hunters, and towards the end of the eighteenth century Mr. J.S. Pode of Slade kept hounds in charge of his huntsman, John Roberts.
These, after passing into the possession of Mr. J.C. Bulteel, developed into the famous Dartmoor Hounds.
Public Races were once held on Henlake Down, for in the years 1794 and 1795 the Squires of Slade and Blachford were successful competitors and silver cups were won in them.
The foundations of the stand, from which the judges could survey the course, are still distinctly visible. Those going to the races from Cornwood and beyond would pass through Fourteen Stone Lane, which derives it's name from a group of large ill shapen stones lying on the surface of the ground at the Hanger Down end, four of them however have been removed to a distance of a few yards.
At the close of the 19th century and in the beginning of the next, there were National Celebrations, in which the loyal people of Cornwood joined. Those who took part would doubtless remember them 'with pleasure as long as they lived, but in memory of the accession of Edward VII on 26th June, 1902, they had a lasting record of that day in the oak tree planted on the Heathfield by two children, chosen by their fellows in the Cornwood and Lutton schools respectively. Yet a still more permanent memorial for future generations was established by the inauguration of a water supply for the village of Cornwood and some of the houses beyond, when the first sod was cut by the youngest daughter of the vicar, the Rev. J.T. Mundy, in whose glebe the reservoir was to be constructed. It was however at a later date that a water supply was found for Lutton.