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Little Castor

Within Castor Copse and near Hawkmoor Mine under Higher Castor is this isolated but quite charming outcrop known as 'Little Castor'. This is set on the slope between two sections of a track that, further up the valley, makes a sharp hairpin bend to take a gentler incline.

This is another of the Max Piper discoveries from April 2018 when he noticed it from below. It is quite well camouflaged, especially with the scruffy terrain created by fallen trees. This tor is thought to reach to 12 feet high on the west side and could resemble a loaf of bread - but this is open to interpretation!

Little Castor's surroundings are defined by the scars left by the Hawkmoor Mine workings. Hawkmoor was another mine that produced micaceous hematite, a type of iron oxide which looks like glitter. The substance was mined all along the north side of the Wray Valley and at Great Rock (near Hennock). Its primary purpose was for rust-resistant paint that was highly sought after in the last two centuries. Whilst there are a number of adits scattered around the site, it is important to remember that this industry never employed more than a few people at a time who would have likely been locals living in Lustleigh. Nearby Kelly Mine appeared to be far more productive and, as such, remained open for longer until it closed in 1951. Hawkmoor ceased operations by 1903 (Brooks, 2016).

Please note that although situated on land owned by Dartmoor National Park Authority, the entirety of Castor Copse is isolated from nearby public access points and will therefore necessitate passing through private land. In this instance, you are advised to seek permission.

Little Castor
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 7994 8174
Bovey Tracey
Tor Classification:
Valley Side
Private (seek permission)
Rock Type:
Max Piper
Reference / Further Reading:
Max Piper: Tors and Rocks Discovered in Castor Copse
Tony Brooks (2016): Kelly Mine: And the 'Shiny Ore' Mines of the Wray Valley

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