Tuesday, 15 January 2019

The Tors around Willings Walls Warren

Sheep and Hen Tor
Sheep and Hen Tor

After viewing Hen Tor from the opposite bank of the Plym a few days ago (blog post HERE), I really wanted to finally bag this eminence. And whilst the weather today was not as nice as other days, it still held off from raining.

We parked up at Trowlesworthy Warren car park, near Cadover Bridge, crossing the leat before making for one of four vermin traps below the Trowlesworthy Tors.

Vermin Trap, below Little Trowlesworthy Tor
Vermin Trap, below Little Trowlesworthy Tor

We then ascended to Little Trowlesworthy Tor, visiting its quarry, an eyesore in my opinion. This is the better of the two tors on this hill.

Little Trowlesworthy Tor
Little Trowlesworthy Tor

Little Trowlesworthy Tor
Little Trowlesworthy Tor

Little Trowlesworthy Tor
Little Trowlesworthy Tor

Quarry, Little Trowlesworthy Tor
Quarry, Little Trowlesworthy Tor

En route to its "Great" neighbour, we passed the abandoned flagpole base which was meant to be used to celebrate Devonport's independence from Plymouth.

Flagpole Base, near Little Trowlesworthy Tor
Flagpole Base, near Little Trowlesworthy Tor

Flagpole Base, near Little Trowlesworthy Tor
Flagpole Base, near Little Trowlesworthy Tor

Great Trowlesworthy Tor is a fine, pale granite tor at the top of the hill. It is almost a Summit Avenue Tor, with outlying granite outcrops to the west.

Great Trowlesworthy Tor
Great Trowlesworthy Tor

Great Trowlesworthy Tor
Great Trowlesworthy Tor

Great Trowlesworthy Tor
Great Trowlesworthy Tor

Great Trowlesworthy Tor
Great Trowlesworthy Tor

Hexton Tor proved elusive: we spent (wasted) almost an hour trudging through deep bog and thick grass trying to get to this tor. What made matters worse is that we could see the tor only a couple hundred metres away but, reluctantly, had to give up and continue our walk.

We forded Spanish Lake, beelining up the hill in the direction of Hen Tor. Once over the top (side) of the brow, Hen became visible in all its splendour; just a couple hundred more metres, crossing Hentor Brook, and we would be within the immediate vicinity of this magnificent pile.

Waterfall, Hentor Brook
Waterfall, Hentor Brook

We spoke to a couple of people at the tor and, when they left, ascended this giant. Once atop it, the views are some of the finest in the national park and the tor is absolutely massive - well worth the effort to get there.

We had lunch and admired the gorgeous stacks of granite and clitter, strewn down the valley side, spotting the remains of Hentor House.

Hen Tor
Hen Tor

Hen Tor
Hen Tor

Hen Tor
Hen Tor

Hen Tor
Hen Tor

Hen Tor
Hen Tor

Hen Tor
Hen Tor

Hen Tor
Hen Tor

Leaving Hen Tor we were back into elephant grass territory, but not for long, as when we reached the tiny pile of Little Hen Tor all this stopped.

Little Hen Tor
Little Hen Tor

Little Hen Tor
Little Hen Tor

Little Hen Tor lower boulder
Little Hen Tor lower boulder

The Shavercombe Valley, opening up below us, was obvious with its small cluster of trees. This is actually where a beautiful waterfall is situated, tucked away. As it tumbles through the presence of variegated moss, the gentle roar of the water as it plunges into the deep pool below is awe-inspiring. The waterfall itself was formed via an intersection from the granite and metamorphic masses. This, as shown on the British Geological Survey map, is the easternmost part of the metamorphic mass, while metres away is granite and this has created a fault here. At the falls, metamorphic rock is visible, but just north of here, several small crags of granite protrude from the hillside.

It is definitely worth a look if you're in the area, and it is not too far from Shavercombe Tor.

Shavercombe Waterfall
Shavercombe Falls

Shavercombe Waterfall
Shavercombe Falls

Shavercombe Waterfall
Shavercombe Falls

Leaving this gem, I noticed one of the boulders of Shavercombe Tor had names on it. I didn't know its purpose, though, and just had to enjoy the peace we were afforded at this pretty tor.

Names on Shavercombe Tor
Names on Shavercombe Tor

Shavercombe Tor
Shavercombe Tor

Shavercombe Tor
Shavercombe Tor

Shavercombe Tor
Shavercombe Tor

We crossed the extensive reave system, meeting the leat again which we would follow over Hentor Brook and Spanish Lake. Just after the second clapper bridge leaving Spanish Lake, we turned right to follow the line of bog on its left side. I made the mistake last time, by choosing the right side, resulting in me getting bogged out!

The path meanders along the shallow valley of the Plym, where Shadyback Tor comes into view. I like this tor close up; it possesses some fine moss and quartz veins in the rocks.

Shadyback Tor
Shadyback Tor

Shadyback Tor
Shadyback Tor

Shadyback Tor
Shadyback Tor

Shadyback Tor
Shadyback Tor

Moss, Shadyback Tor
Moss, Shadyback Tor

Shadyback Tor
Shadyback Tor

Quartz, Shadyback Tor
Quatz, Shadyback Tor

The walk from here was simple, following the track below the tor back to the car park. It was a lovely walk.

This was not the end, however. We decided to have a quick stop in Wotter, en route, to view Collard Tor in Winter. I've been before, link HERE, but the bracken obscured any decent view of the granite outcrops below the summit.

Collard Tor, from Wotter
Collard Tor, from Wotter

Collard Tor, from Wotter
Collard Tor, from Wotter

Sheep in Wotter
Sheep in Wotter