TORS OF DARTMOOR

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Long Tor

May Queen Stone (old), Old May Rock

Whilst Ordnance Survey maps have always shown these outcrops on the north-west slopes of Wreyland Down, they have never properly recognised them by name. It is Long Tor Farm, sited below, that tells us that there is a significant tor hidden within its bounds. When consulting the Tithe map for Bovey Tracey, we find that plot 297 is named 'Long Tor' and indeed, the lower portion of the tor, also known as 'Old May Rock', does reside there.

But there is a more impressive collection of outcrops higher in the adjacent plot 302 which is called Wreyland Down Field, at grid reference SX 7908 8098. If this is considered a part of Long Tor, as we feel it may well do, then the tor is a long line of impressive boulders that descend the spur of the hill northwards, culminating at the aforementioned lowest outcrop at grid ref: SX 7909 8108, which is of significant historical importance to the village of Lustleigh.

In 1905, local resident Cecil Torr resurrected the ancient tradition in the village of crowning a May Queen. Up until 1940, the coronation took place on the lower outcrop of the tor at Long Tor Farm where the name of each queen was written on the side of the rock. Below the tor May Day celebrations that included dancing around the May pole took place. There was a brief halt to the tradition because of the war and in 1954 it was revived, but it was moved to the Town Orchard where it still continues to this day. Sadly, the Old May Rock is now on private land but the names were restored a few years ago and can still be seen on the side from a public footpath.

Long 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 791 810
Height:
160m
Parish:
Lustleigh (formerly Bovey Tracey)
Tor Classification:
Spur
Access:
Private (but visible from public land)
Rock Type:
Granite
Credit:
Lustleigh Community Archive
Reference:
Lustleigh Community Archive: May Day - A History

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