TORS OF DARTMOOR

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Lover's Leap

The Lover's Leap, The Lovers' Leap, Lovers' Leap Rock

This is, technically, the lower section of Landscore Tor that has been separated from the main bulk by the building of the lower Buckland Drive, one of three thoroughfares built within Buckland Woods, this one following the Dart between the bridges of Holne and Buckland. It was given the name of 'Lover's Leap' due to it being the purported site where two lovers threw themselves into the river.

William Crossing romanticises about the scene in 'Gems in a Granite Setting' and we feel it still applies more than a hundred years later; "It has been considered by many that the Dart at the Lovers' Leap is seen at its finest. Those who love it best, where it forces its way through rock-strewn vale, its murmuring heard only by the curlew, may not be prepared to endorse this view, but they will, at all events, be ready to acknowledge that nowhere throughout its course is the picture, of which it forms the principal feature, more enchanting than that presented at the spot where it kisses the foot of the rock with the forgotten story in the valley below Buckland."

In his Guide to Dartmoor, Crossing tells us of a visit by Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria; "The drive here deserts the river for a short distance and is carried above the rock. In passing this an upright iron bar will be seen, which was placed here to mark the spot on which the Prince Cohort stood when he visited the woods, by George Sparks, a former well-known whip of Ashburton, who drove his Royal Highness on that occasion." Hemery, in 'Historic Dart', mentions that the iron bar was; "...later adopted as the support for a wire fence forming a flimsy protection against the 200ft drop below." We have not seen evidence of the monument or later fence, but the unrelated iron remains of what looked like a bench can still be seen protruding from the rock on its summit.

Please be aware that Lover's Leap is on private ground in Coombe Wood and a permit can be obtained from Fountain Forestry. It is best viewed, however, from the other side of the river, where permission should be sought from the owners of Holne Chase.

Lover's Leap
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 7264 7220
Height:
100m
Parish:
Ashburton
Tor Classification:
Valley Side
Access:
Private (seek permission)
Rock Type:
Metamorphic
Credit:
William Crossing
Ordnance Survey
Reference:
Ordnance Survey Maps
William Crossing: Guide to Dartmoor (1912) & Gems in a Granite Setting (1905)
Eric Hemery (1982): Historic Dart

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