High above the left bank of the River Walkham beside the B3357 road near Merrivale, there sits a granite outcrop called the 'Church Rock'. This is a lesser known tor, considered by some to be the highest part of Over Tor whose bulk resides 100 metres to the south-west. It is rarely visited, the crowds of people tending to make their way up to the more significant neighbouring tors or visit the Merrivale Stone Rows across the road.
In his 'Guide to Dartmoor' William Crossing tells the story of how this outcrop gained its name; "On this common near Over Tor, a mass of granite called the Church Rock used to be pointed out as one of the abodes of the pixies, and it was said that by placing the ear against it the sound of church bells could be heard."
The views across the Walkham Valley and Merrivale from here are spectacular with an array of tors visible, not least Middle Staple Tor, Great Staple Tor and Roos Tor. These together present as a lengthy rock ridge which is best viewed from this side of the river.
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.
SX 5584 7540
Dartmoor Forest (formerly Walkhampton)
Reference / Further Reading:
William Crossing: Guide to Dartmoor
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