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Elsford Rock

Alsford Rock, Elsford Rocks

Residing in a private field above the accessible East Wray Cleave, this outcrop is surrounded on most sides by vegetation and is only just visible through the trees. A half-decent picture could once be captured of the lower section from the woodland side of the wall, but it gave little clue to the extent of what is an excellent pile of granite despite its lowish stature. Now, with saplings growing around the edge of the boundary, the tor is sadly becoming increasingly difficult to see from public land.

Clearly marked on all early Ordnance Survey Maps (called 'Alsford Rock' on Mudge's 1809 survey), the first appearance in literature we can find is in 1888 when William Crossing, in his book 'Amid Devonia's Alps', mentions Elsford Rock in a list of the "Tors and Rock Piles in the neighbourhood of Chagford, Drewsteignton, Lustleigh and Bovey". In his 'Guide to Dartmoor', he later describes the route from Lustleigh for anyone wishing to visit, but once again omits any details of its appearance.

Now sadly incarcerated with few visitors, it would seem that the tor was once of great interest. In the Devon and Exeter Gazette, dated 4th February 1903, there was an article headlined 'The New Railway - An Interesting Discussion' describing a lecture about the building of the Exeter Railway, at the Exeter District Chamber of Commerce. The speaker, a Mr F. Collins went on to laud the area; "The railway opened up that little visited portion of Dartmoor which lay between the Okement and Teign rivers - an extremely beautiful bit of country. Few people knew of the existence of such scenes as could be found in that direction... Among places in this neighbourhood were Hel Tor, 1,036 feet above sea level; Blackington, Hennock and Beadon Brooks, Elsford Rocks... The various places of interest in the district were shown on the screen, and illustrated the unrivalled beauty of the scenery."

Elsford Rock
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 7866 8300
Bovey Tracey
Tor Classification:
Private (but visible from public land)
Rock Type:
William Crossing
Ordnance Survey
William Crossing: Amid Devonia's Alps and Guide to Dartmoor
Ordnance Survey Maps
British Newspaper Archive: Devon and Exeter Gazette, dated 4th February 1903, titled 'The New Railway - An Interesting Discussion'
Tim Jenkinson: East Dartmoor The Hidden Landscape: Rocks and Tors

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