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Bellever Tor

Belliver Tor, Bellaford Tor

This is one of Dartmoor's finest rockpiles, it lies little more than half a mile to the south west of the hamlet of Bellever from which it takes its name. Despite its modest height of 443 metres above sea level it nonetheless forms a conspicuous landmark from many directions but perhaps most strikingly from the open moor to the north of Postbridge where it rises proudly above the treeline. Interchanged with the name of Bellaford Tor by William Crossing he describes it as a "fine cluster of rocks" and Eric Hemery calls it "magnificent" and "the Avalon of Dartmoor's Central Basin". There are at least four separate piles encircling the summit that is crowned by an Ordnance Survey Triangulation Pillar bearing a small plaque that is dedicated to the Creber family and is dated to 1993.

Hemery explains that "Two logan stones exist, a very small one on the summit of the main pile" with another "a prominent slab below and to the south east of the tor separated from the bedrock beneath by an auxiliary rock that also moves." This latter stone forms part of Little Bellever that appears elsewhere on the website. The outcrops here are impressive they form fine stacks and stretch for some distance on all sides of the tor. There are small conifer trees growing out of the crevices of some of the rocks like seedlings that have escaped from Bellever Forest.

Like other places on the moor the tor is also steeped in Dartmoor Pixie folklore. In the booklet 'The Land of Stream and Tor' William Crossing recounts the tale of lovestruck Tom White of Postbridge who every night used to visit a dairymaid at Huccaby Farm. On one occasion he stayed longer than usual and, on his way home actually saw signs of the approaching dawn, the story goes "walking rapidly on, he soon gained the slopes of Bellaford Tor and shortly before reaching the pile of hoary rocks, fancied he heard voices." This turned out to be a "party of pixies" that revealed themselves and the "sight filled him with wonder" as a "crowd of the little creatures were dancing merrily in a ring and shouting with glee while many were perched upon the granite rocks scattered around." Tom tried to make his way but every time he moved a step the pixies surrounded him "dancing furiously". Anxiously he joined in, but eventually implored them to stop but they just laughed and kept going, Tom was very tired but carried on "until the sun peeped up beyond the eastern hills when he instantly dropped to the ground and the pixies vanished." Crossing advises that the sequel was a sad one and that the pixies had danced all of Tom's "pluck out of him for he never visited the damsel of Huccaby anymore."

Bellever is without doubt a quite beautiful rockpile and although it has a lower height than most large tors on the moor that does not detract in any way from the far-reaching views afforded here. Writing as long ago as 1892 John Chudleigh provides this evocative account of the scene from the summit "From this tor a noble panorama stretches around; Holne Moor, over which I had come southward, away to Hameldon in the east; Longaford, Littaford and Crockern Tors nearer at hand; Rippon and Hound Tors over Hameldon, Mis Tor and Hessary near Princetown and a vast range of moorland on all sides." For many years at start of the 20th Century, the tor also formed the backdrop to the popular Bellever Day that was traditionally held on the first Friday in May as an event where the Dartmoor Harriers finished the hunting season.

Bellever Tor
The map above is not a navigation tool and we recommend that the grid reference shown below is used in conjunction with an Ordnance Survey map and that training in its use with a compass is advised.
Grid Ref:
SX 6447 7643
Dartmoor Forest
Tor Classification:
Summit Avenue
Rock Type:
Ordnance Survey
Ordnance Survey Maps
William Crossing (1891): The Land of Stream and Tor
John Chudleigh (1892): An Exploration of Dartmoor's Antiquities

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