TORS OF DARTMOOR

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Leighon Tor

For many years this tor was confused with Greator Rocks which stands on the opposite west side of Hound Tor Combe. It seems that Samuel Rowe (1848) was one of the first to muddle the locations in his index of tors in A Perambulation of Dartmoor the extract reading: 'Grea Tor Rocks -West of Grea Tor on the other side of Becka Brook. Sometimes called Leighon Tor.' Later William Crossing (1901) replicates this same error in 'One Hundred Years on Dartmoor'. Worse still is that both of these books containing the same misinformation were reprinted for a new generation in 1985 and 1987 respectively, a situation that to this day is further complicated by the continuing absence of the tor's name on modern day Ordnance Survey (OS) maps.

In 1905 Crossing attempted to correct the error in Gems in a Granite Setting with this account of the Combe, 'on its eastern side rise Saddle Tor, the twin granite masses of Hey Tor, Holwell Tor, Smallacombe Rocks and Leighon Tor.' For the first time we gain an idea of the true location of the tor and the author provides more detail later in the same chapter 'From Holwell Tor near to which is a group of hut circles, the rambler may make his way along the side of the hill to Smallcombe Rocks where there are similar remains and to Leighon Tor, both piles being worth a visit.' We then have to wait another 78 years before Eric Hemery (1983 p737) provides a sharper observation of the tor's substance remarking upon 'the immense horizontal jointings and weirdly shaped core remnants' that make up the tor's arrangement. In 1996 Tim Jenkinson (TJ) was one of the first to attempt a grid reference for the tor of SX 757787 an estimate that was later revised with the advent of a hand held Global Positioning System (GPS) to SX 7584 7868.

Tim describes Leighon Tor as 'one of the largest and most interesting of the lesser known tors, strangely omitted from maps by the OS, it forms a conspicuous landmark as the last and northern most of the fine rock piles that lie high on the eastern side of Hound Tor Combe.' The views from the top of the tor are spectacular and TJ continues 'Below to the north beyond the tor's wide and heavy clitter, the valley sides steepen above Becka Brook and west the magnificent crags of Great Hound Tor rise. In late spring the hillside and woodland of the combe beneath Grea Tor come alive with an ocean of bluebells that herald the arrival of longer, warmer days.'

Leighon Tor
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 7584 7868
Height:
390m
Parish:
Manaton
Tor Classification:
Valley Side
Access:
Public
Rock Type:
Granite
Credit:
Tim Jenkinson
William Crossing
Reference:
Samuel Rowe (1848): A Perambulation of Dartmoor
William Crossing: One Hundred Years on Dartmoor (1901), Gems in a Granite Setting (1905)
Eric Hemery (1983): High Dartmoor
Tim Jenkinson (1996): The Lesser Known Tors of Dartmoor Dartmoor Magazine Number 44 Autumn p28 & Dartmoor Magazine No 58 p32, Spring 2000; 'Nameless Rock piles Field Notes and Photographs'.

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