TORS OF DARTMOOR

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Gidleigh Rock

Set on the steep slope below part of the Mariner's Way footpath as it curls into Gidleigh Wood and starts its descent to the river, is a fine distinct pile that were it not for the trees would be a conspicuous landmark. This impressive outcrop noted by Paul Rendell (2020) is sufficiently detached from the nearby North Park Tor to warrant its own identity.

The dense canopy of conifers here, give it a sense of isolation from all the other rocks that are scattered further into the wood, and it is without doubt one of the "several fantastically shaped piles of rock" that William Crossing describes on an excursion to Gidleigh Chase in the book Gems in a Granite Setting from 1905. What is particularly interestingly is that the author includes a photograph of the area from that time that shows the complete absence of any trees here.

Condemned it now seems to perpetual twilight the Rock presents as a huge several metre high rounded eminence that is best seen from below on the south-east side, a perspective that commands attention where it appears as strange crouching creature. Nearby there is another very large slab of pointed granite that has broken away from the main pile and is now lying prone on the wooded floor.

Walking around the Rock reveals its enormity but sadly there is little to be seen from its summit as the view is disappointingly masked on all sides by trees, but it is quite a secluded and tranquil spot, and the giant outcrop will not disappoint.

Gidleigh 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 6749 8780
Height:
270m
Parish:
Gidleigh
Tor Classification:
Small
Access:
Private (seek permission)
Rock Type:
Granite
Credit:
Paul Rendell
Reference:
William Crossing (1905): Gems in a Granite Setting
Max Piper (2021): An Exploration of Gidleigh Woods

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