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Holwell Rocks

Big Rock, Phoebe Tor

The name of Holwell Rocks is introduced by William Crossing in Gems in a Granite Setting (page 83) for a small tor of three low outcrops that overlook Holwell Lawn, a well-known beauty spot renowned for its glorious bluebell display in springtime.

Crossing states that "to the west is a tor above Holwell Farm sometimes known as Holwell Rocks from which a good view of the further side of the combe is gained, the beautiful Grea Tor, in whose clefts the mountain ash finds a home, and Hound Tor, the latter ranking among the finest on the Moor."

Later on, Eric Hemery advises that the eastern pile is also known as 'Big Rock'. The location of the rocks is incorrectly identified in Ken Ringwood's (2013) book of tors, where he inexplicably places them with no good reason well to the north and east of here above Greator Rocks at SX 7444 7841. This is known as Hound Tor Down Outcrop and Max Piper differentiates between the two sites in Dartmoor Magazine (issue 144) after the same error was replicated again in 2021.

In 2021 Devon Wildlife Trust decided to name it 'Phoebe Tor' in memory of Phoebe Wortley-Talbot, seemingly unaware of the real name that has long been recorded in the literature of this part of the moor.

Holwell Rocks
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 7391 7769
Tor Classification:
Rock Type:
William Crossing
Eric Hemery (1983): High Dartmoor
William Crossing: Gems in a Granite Setting (1905), Guide to Dartmoor (1909)
Max Piper (2021): Letters to the Editor Dartmoor Magazine number 144 page 57 Winter
Andrew Taylor: Dartmoor News Issue 181 Nov/Dec 2021: Phoebe Tor

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