TORS OF DARTMOOR

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Cowsic Tor

About 50 metres upstream from the Beardown Clapper on the left bank of the Cowsic River is a small but interesting tor at the foot of a plantation of conifer trees. Easily accessed from the road to Beardown Farm in an area popular with campers, most of the rocks are moss covered and embedded in the turf they extend for some distance below the trees, culminating in the largest part not far from the river which forms a tall some 3 metre high rock formation on the east side.

This is a most picturesque spot and although both William Crossing and Eric Hemery (p396) describe the area, each giving information on the repair of the clapper bridge by the Dartmoor Preservation Association in c1890 after it was swept away in a flood, neither seem to mention the rocks with the former describing a 'beautiful dell' and the latter a 'wooded ravine' here.

A short way upstream of the rocks there is an inscribed stone just below the Devonport Leat Aqueduct at SX 6009 7540. Now very worn and difficult to decipher it once read on its west face 'THIS STONE WAS REMOVED BY A FLOOD 17', and on its south face 'SWEET POESY! FAIR FANCY'S CHILD! THY IMPARADISE THE WILD.' The latter inscription is accredited to Edward Bray who was also responsible for similar carvings on several boulders in the vicinity of the road bridge (SX 6032 7531) below the farm from 1802 onwards (Arthur B. Prowse 1904).

This tor gets a mention in Dartmoor Magazine Summer 2021 albeit as a caption to a photograph on page 49 where it is named, but it also gets a brief description in directions to reach the aforementioned 'flood' stone. The extract reads: "This latter stone is best reached by crossing the old Beardown Clapper Bridge at SX 6025 7534 and following the river up the left bank passing below a small but picturesque tor of large, round and moss-covered boulders at the foot of a plantation before espying the rock in the river ahead."

Cowsic 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 6016 7539
Height:
380m
Parish:
Dartmoor Forest
Tor Classification:
Small
Access:
Public
Rock Type:
Granite
Credit:
Tim Jenkinson
Reference:
Arthur B. Prowse (1904): The Rock Inscriptions at Beardown. Transactions of Devonshire Association 36 p127-134.
Eric Hemery (1983): High Dartmoor
William Crossing (1912): Guide to Dartmoor
Tim Jenkinson (2021): The Beardown Inscriptions Dartmoor Magazine number 142 Summer

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