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Hollowpark Rock

East Dartmoor is a treasure trove of hidden rockpiles that crown the hillocks and valley sides which are often cloaked by the darkness of the trees that veil these outcrops from most visitors. Historically, some of these have been identified by authors and others have been named on Ordnance Survey (OS) Maps, yet rather disappointingly over time some locations have subsequently been removed from maps.

One such example is Hollowpark Rock, a huge outcrop that had been clearly shown on all versions of OS Maps leading up to and including their 1963 publication, but for some reason this changed and as a consequence the name became temporarily lost until it was noticed on an old map in April 2018 by Max Piper who arranged an on the ground visit with Paul Buck to go in search of the elusive Rock. Indeed, as expected, the Rock in question was still in situ, so one wonders why the name was omitted from later editions. Was it to reduce cramming on maps as it is believed that this was once an issue concerning OS?

The whereabouts of Hollowpark Rock were published in print in Dartmoor News Issue 178 in 2021 alongside an NGR and it is very easy to reach, being positioned beside a public bridleway on the southern edge of Beacon Plantation. From this angle, approaching from the south-west, it resembles a giant mushroom, and its summit reveals a massive exposure of slab granite topped with moss and bracken, and bluebells are found in the adjacent enclosure in spring. A better place to appreciate the Rock in its entirety, though from a distance across private land, is given by Max Piper who explains that "the best view of it is from across the field to the south, by a ford at SX 80843 84555."

The Rock straddles the parish boundaries of Bridford and Christow and there is no doubt that it would have once acted as a prominent marker commanding lovely southward views prior to afforestation and the damming of the Kennick and Tottiford Reservoirs. The name is also indicated on historic 19th Century Tithe Maps where two plots, 863 and 870, are labelled as Rock Hollow Park and Great Hollow Park respectively. These reside immediately below the outcrop.

It is hoped that the rediscovery of Hollowpark Rock will prompt and encourage people to visit to admire a long-lost rockpile whose name has now been reinstated for future generations to enjoy and marvel at. Given its ease of access and beautiful surroundings it would seem sacrilege to miss out on a visit.

Hollowpark 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 8082 8476
Tor Classification:
Public (part private)
Rock Type:
Ordnance Survey
Max Piper (rediscovered)
Ordnance Survey, 1:25,000, Provisional (Outline Edition): 20/88 Published: ca. 1949
Moorland Walks: In Search of Hollowpark Rock
Max Piper: Dartmoor News Issue 178 April/June 2021: Exploring the Tors Around the Three Reservoirs
Devon County Council: The Tithe Map of the Parish of Christow

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