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Little Fox Tor

Yonder Tor

Had the planners of the Swincombe Reservoir project had their way in the late 1960s the slopes above Fox Tor Mire to the south would probably be covered in conifer plantations by now. This would mean that like Loughten Tor in Fernworthy Forest, Little Fox Tor would no longer be visible lost to the trees. However, following a lengthy and often fierce debate, coupled with strong opposition to the scheme, the proposals failed, meaning that the area today is preserved as one of the most desolate places on southern Dartmoor.

Little Fox or Yonder Tor as it was once known (Hemery) is a low, ruined pile that overlooks the notorious mire at about 400 metres to the west of the much better-known Fox Tor beyond the rocky gorge of Swincombe T Gert. The highest part of the tor is crowned by an immense sloping and grass covered outcrop of some 15 metres in length. However, its height is disappointing reaching no more than a metre on its east side. The spreading clitter beneath the tor is indicative of a once prominent rock pile at this spot as many large and split boulders are cast across the northern slopes almost to the newtake wall. There is a sense of total ruin here, the tor's rocks in disarray it is almost unrecognisable as a pile except for the upper outcrop.

Little Fox Tor's modest elevation still provides some interesting views across the mire towards Whiteworks where the reservoir would have been and west where the granite spine of the newtake wall snakes across the moor towards Nun's Cross Farm this being the best place from which to access the rocks. Away to the east the shadowy dark rocks of the parent tor can be seen.

The pan of the mire that so very much grabs the viewer's attention is famous in literary circles, as providing the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Great Grimpen Mire in 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' and so with it comes that dreaded reputation that ultimately claimed the life of the villain of that story.

Little Fox 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 6209 6986
Dartmoor Forest
Tor Classification:
Rock Type:
Eric Hemery
Eric Hemery (1983): High Dartmoor
Tim Jenkinson (2001): Fox Tor Mire and the Swincombe Reservoir Project: Dartmoor Magazine no 64 Autumn pp.8-10

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