Sunday, 16 September 2018

The Tors on Walkhampton Common

Leeden Tor
Leeden Tor

As I usually do I was looking deep into my map for a circular walk that would knock off a few tors. Time to visit the tors on Walkhampton Common near Princetown. Even better that it was sunny.

There is a small car park north of Black Tor (Walkhampton) where we started the walk. Already from here you get a wonderful view of Hart Tor (Walkhampton Common), only a bog preventing a direct route.

We headed up to Black Tor where I realised we were walking part of the 11 tors challenge route, an 11 mile walk raising funds for the Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team. These guys work voluntarily helping those in danger on Dartmoor.

Black Tor (Walkhampton)
Black Tor

Black Tor (Walkhampton)
Sam on Black Tor

Black Tor (Walkhampton)
Black Tor

Black Tor (Walkhampton)
Black Tor

I had been here before, well before I even considered creating a website and taking photos so I was glad to be revisiting. There are lovely views eastward and a great logan stone that, according to one of the Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team members, will 'move with a big force'.

Crossing the B3212 towards Leeden Tor, the footpath turned into the M25; I have never to this day seen so many people out on Dartmoor! Whilst great to see, it did prevent full exploration of Leeden Tor, a beautiful Summit Tor with views that make you feel a lot higher than you actually are.

Leeden Tor
Leeden Tor

Leeden Tor
Leeden Tor

Leeden Tor
Leeden Tor

Leeden Tor
Leeden Tor

Onwards, we picked up the track towards Ingra Tor, even busier than the last two tors. It took us time finding a safe route to the summit, crowded with people but I tried to forget that. This tor is not a favourite of mine, with an ugly quarry and many lowish outcrops atop.

Ingra Tor
Ingra Tor

Ingra Tor
Ingra Tor

Ingra Tor
Ingra Tor

Ingra Tor
Ingra Tor

Onto the old Princetown railway track, we made our departure just before the modern bridge to cross it, giving us access to Yes Tor (Walkhampton).

Yes Tor Bridge
Yes Tor Bridge

Yes Tor (Walkhampton)
Yes Tor

Yes Tor (Walkhampton)
Yes Tor

Yes Tor (Walkhampton)
Yes Tor

Yes Tor (Walkhampton)
Yes Tor

Some may disagree on the positioning of Yes Tor (aka East Tor by Crossing) - being the left side of the railway, heading north since Hemery's description in High Dartmoor of this and nearby Fur Tor is in my opinion confusing. The name is still disputed by others.

Yes Tor Bridge
Yes Tor Bridge

Back over the bridge, the much more substantial Fur Tor, or Yes Tor?! I like this tor, composed of huge granite boulders, little jointing and a wide, grassy plain to set up a picnic blanket. But because it is not marked on modern maps this obvious pile is passed by the masses below who are likely oblivious to its existence!

Fur Tor (Walkhampton)
Fur Tor

Fur Tor (Walkhampton)
Fur Tor

Fur Tor (Walkhampton)
Fur Tor

Fur Tor (Walkhampton) strange formation!
Fur Tor strange formation!

Fur Tor (Walkhampton) tilted rock basin?
Fur Tor tilted rock basin

Fur Tor (Walkhampton) and Sam in hole
Fur Tor and Sam in hole

A steep ascent was needed in order to reach Crip Tor. It is marked on the Tithe Map of the Parish of Walkhampton clearly as being a separate outcrop between the huge bend in the railway track. Tithe must mean this outcrop which, although largely obscured by quarrying, appears with its own clitter quite away from the main bulk from Swelltor Quarry. It is also known as Inclined Plane Tor by Anna Eliza Bray and many today still refer to this as Swell Tor Stack.

Crip Tor (Tithe Map)
Crip Tor (Tithe)

Crip Tor (Tithe Map)
Crip Tor (Tithe)

Crip Tor (Tithe Map)
Crip Tor (Tithe)

Crip Tor (Tithe Map)
Crip Tor (Tithe)

Swell Tor is ugly. Yes, of course, it's a quarry but I really hate seeing these eyesores amid an otherwise stunning landscape. Thankfully, these things are limited on Dartmoor.

Swell Tor
Swell Tor

Swell Tor
Swell Tor

Over the brow of the hill, another eyesore became visible to us; Foggin Tor. We explored this one thoroughly, discovering the ruined house and walking through the quarry itself. Afterwards, we followed the old railway again, bearing right back to the car park on a rough track, of sorts.

Foggin Tor
Foggin Tor

Pony at Foggin Tor
Pony at Foggin Tor

Foggin Tor
Foggin Tor

Foggin Tor
Foggin Tor

Foggin Tor
Foggin Tor