TORS OF DARTMOOR

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Hollow Tor (Widecombe)

Whilst Top Tor, Pil Tor and Tunhill Rocks seem to attract the majority of visitors to Tor Hill, there remains a lesser regarded outcrop on the lower west slopes that is known as Hollow Tor. You would initially think that there is only a small outcrop down the side of the hill, with a bit more of the tor visible from the north, yet there is so much more than meets the eye. Topped with grass, Hollow Tor looks largely deceptive, and from most vantage points (that being predominantly the south and east) it is disappointing, but when viewed from below it is a completely different proposition.

Eric Hemery (1983) explains that "The reason for its name is self-evident, for at the north-west foot of the tor is a huge cavity caused by a break-away of rock. Although it is some 250 feet below the crest of Tor Hill (similarly, Hen Tor below the Plym ridge), a clear prospect may be had of the declining, undulating ridges and spurs of high Dartmoor in the south." Indeed there is no denying that from the underside Hollow is very impressive and what makes it so characteristic is its horizontal jointing that is parallel to the gradient of the hill, a feature that is seen throughout the rocks at Tunhill.

Views from here are stupendous and embrace all of East Webburn Country and the noticeable Church of St. Pancras in Widecombe, its prominent spire a beautiful focal point in the valley. Westward the landscape unfolds towards North Hessary Tor and Longaford Tor whilst the farmed fields that grace the slopes below the intimidating masses of Old House Hill and Bonehill Down are a sight to behold, their textures and contrasts in the land that is interspersed by patches of trees making this vista one of the most varied and desirable on the moor.

Accessing Hollow Tor is relatively straightforward if undertaken carefully. From the north and close to the numerous car parks on Widecombe Hill, there is a clearly defined grassy path that passes a short way above the tor and continues southward to Tunhill Rocks North and Tunhill Rocks, which may also be another, albeit longer, route. That said, when accessed from the northerly direction there is a small boggy area at SX 732 763 that can be a nuisance, particularly after heavy rain, and you should tread with caution. It should also be noted that the western side of Tor Hill is notorious for dense bracken in the summer so a visit outside of this season is recommended. For its somewhat obscure position Hollow Tor is well worth a visit to bask in the thrilling vistas that can be obtained from this spot.

Hollow Tor (Widecombe)
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 7310 7620
Height:
370m
Parish:
Widecombe in the Moor
Tor Classification:
Valley Side
Access:
Public
Rock Type:
Granite
Credit:
Ordnance Survey
Reference:
Ordnance Survey Maps
Eric Hemery (1983): High Dartmoor

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