Saturday, 28 July 2018

Dartmoor: Buckland Beacon and the 'real' Wells Tor

Buckland Beacon

The whole point of this walk was to pay a visit to the 'real' Welstor Rock, better described as Wells Tor, that has been placed in two locations, one marked on OS maps and the other by Tim Jenkinson. I wanted to ensure that I had bagged them both, with a side trip to Buckland Beacon to find the Jubilee Stone, so I did.

On Welstor Common there are two rock piles of note, the higher but less impressive and ruined tor marked as Welstor Rock on OS maps as described by Crossing and Hemery; the lower rock pile, which is more prominent, has not been mentioned at all, bizarrely, and first appeared in the Dartmoor Magazine by Tim Jenkinson.

Tim's outcrop lies deep within gorse and is located at SX 73784 72945, but is well worth the effort. This outcrop has a tall stack of rock amid a large area of clitter to the south. The highest rock appears, to me, like Bart Simpson!

Welstor Rock (east)

Welstor Rock (east)

Welstor Rock (east)

Welstor Rock (east)

Back through the gorse to the utterly ruined pile known as Welstor Rock. I suppose it is obvious as to why this particular outcrop is named over the other. It lies immediately beside a footpath, that visitors such as Crossing would have taken.

What's baffling is that although previously stated, Tim's candidate is harder to access, and is very obvious, especially from below; once you see it you cannot dismiss it.

Welstor Rock (west)

Welstor Rock (west)

Welstor Rock (west)

Welstor Rock (west)

A short way off, Buckland Beacon where the stunning views of the Dart Valley and Chase Wood, with the summit of Ausewell Rocks to the left; North Hessary Tor distant right made for a great place for tor sitting. I'm perfecting it! 

The beacon is likely better known for the Ten Commandments Stones rather than being a tor itself, which is a shame as it is a fine rock pile, with an impressive rock face on one side. The Ten Commandments may be interesting to some, and now you can read the inscriptions they are significant, but I find much more pleasure in natural formations.

Buckland Beacon

Ten Commandments

Ten Commandments

Ten Commandments

But I wasn't finished: consulting Legendary Dartmoor there is also a Jubilee Stone, which I spent almost half an hour looking for. It sits right atop the summit and is incredibly hard to read. I don't see why that if they were to repaint the Ten Commandments below, why not the Jubilee Stone. It seems a shame to just forget about it, especially since you can barely see it.

Jubilee Stone

Jubilee Stone

Cows

It was then just a casual walk back to the car park south of Cold East Cross. Anyway, I hope you come and visit Wells Tor, even though you may curse at me for leading you through thick gorse, it is well worth it!