Eagle Rock (Chase Wood)
Eagle Rock rises high above the River Dart in one of its most picturesque sections between New Bridge and Holne Bridge. At the northernmost promontory of Chase Wood, within Holne Chase, a tor of magnificent proportions dominates the onlooker as they pass along the track below that hugs the right bank of the river.
Photos fail to do justice to the stature of the tor as its huge, dark walls tower above the track, seemingly rising into the sky through the woodland canopy. It is so much more than a simple 'Rock'; walking around its base, its sheer, craggy faces create a beautiful picture that alongside the Double Dart is one of Dartmoor's most splendid woodland scenes. The tor, which is composed of much angular rock due to its metamorphic geology, spans a reasonable area and culminates in numerous caves as well as an outlying outcrop at SX 72304 72233.
William Crossing, in Gems in a Granite Setting (1905), was captivated by the raw beauty of the river here and was understandably drawn to the Lovers' Leap, a huge crag that is found a short distance downstream on the opposite bank, but the author overlooked the majestic position of Eagle Rock. It is only in his Guide to Dartmoor (1912) where he mentions the Rock, albeit in passing with a rather disappointing reference when stood just below the hill fort at a time prior to afforestation in the area. After observing the Lovers' Leap from the opposing hillside, he writes: "A little further on, and immediately below us, is Eagle Rock, under which the Dart makes its great bend." Were the valley clear of trees, Eagle Rock would oppose the nearby crags of Landscore Tor above the aforementioned Lovers' Leap, and would be a sight to behold; however, with the trees obscuring any distant views, only portions can be viewed of these tors, but they are no less impressive.
In this romantic setting, Eagle Rock overlooks the point where Dart has become a true mountain river making its swift departure from the moor via an exciting course, but it is important to note that Holne Chase is on private land, so please seek permission from the landowner before visiting.