Monday, 4 January 2021

Dartmoor: The Tors out of Shipley Bridge

River Avon at Shipley Gorge

Note: Walk undertaken in December 2018, blog post slightly rewritten in January 2021.

I have been wanting to revisit this area for some time, as it has always been a popular family stroll, up to the dam and back. But this time, I was going to bag all the tors and rocks north of Shipley Bridge.

Parking up at the car park beside the toilets (well, it's the only place to park here), it was already getting busy despite the drizzle, we made for Black Tor, a striking set of heavily jointed and broken granite outcrops high above the Avon.

Black Tor (Brent Down)

Black Tor (Brent Down)

Black Tor (Brent Down)

Black Tor (Brent Down)

Black Tor (Brent Down)

Descending Black Tor and crossing the Avon on the bridge, we reached Lower Woolholes Clitter, one section creating a small cave.

Lower Woolholes

Lower Woolholes

Lower Woolholes

Lower Woolholes Cave

Lower Woolholes

Then, Higher Woolholes Clitter, the main attraction being an outcrop-type rock, perhaps the only evidence of bedrock here.

Higher Woolholes

Higher Woolholes

Higher Woolholes

Traversing towards Shipley Tor felt like it was never going to end; whilst the terrain wasn't terrible, I (we) were aware that we were going to need to retrace our steps back to the bridge below Lower Woolholes, so yes, Shipley was a diversion, and Mum fell over en route.

It's not a bad tor but the wind and rain forced us to descend to the lower ground immediately.

Shipley Tor

Shipley Tor

Shipley Tor

Shipley Tor

Back onto the dam track, we headed south, passing the Mary Meynell Memorial. William Crossing (1889) mentions the location of the memorial in his book "Amid Devonia's Alps"; "On reaching Shipley Bridge instead of mounting Zeal Hill as described in the previous chapter, we followed the road that runs for a short distance by the river side and very soon passed through the gate of Brent Moor Villa. Just inside this, on a ledge of rock amid the shrubs which have been planted here and which in this sheltered hollow flourish so luxuriantly, a small pedestal of granite is observable."

However, there have been several errors regarding the name, with "Lily" and "Margaret" being two of the incorrect ones. The cause of death and the date have also been recorded incorrectly, but that is for another time.

Clitter below Dockwell Ridge

Mary Meynell Memorial

Finally, we passed the Hunters' Stone which has also had its date recorded incorrectly, this time by Eric Hemery as '1948', and Shipley Gorge where a fine waterfall can be found.

The Hunters' Stone

The Hunters' Stone

The Hunters' Stone

Shipley Bridge Waterfall in Shipley Gorge

Shipley Gorge

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