TORS OF DARTMOOR

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Lowton Borough Rocks

Lowton Rocks, Lowton Boro' Rocks, Lowton Tor, Loughten Tor

These rocks are also referred to as Loughten Tor, appearing by that name on an Ordnance Survey Map dated to 1809 and later on the Tithe Map of the Parish of Lydford (Forest of Dartmoor) in 1840. William Crossing uses the same name in 1901 in his One Hundred Years on Dartmoor and in the 5th edition of that book that is dated to 1902 it is listed in his gazetteer of Tors, Hills and Streams of the Moor with a short description as: "Loughten Tor, E. - A small pile in the new take on Loughten Hill, belonging to Fernworthy Farm. The South Teign flows between it and the farmhouse."

Writing much later Hemery (1983 p749) describes the same site using the more accepted name of Lowton Boro' for the rocks. Describing an excursion to Lowton Brook he writes "The steep east slope above the brook rises to Lowton Hill, on the high shoulder of which is Lowton Boro' (or Rocks) (approx. 1,300 feet) - surely a long-lost tor! The westward view towards Siddaford Tor must have once been beautiful. The tor remnant, although small, consists of very large slabs and its shallow clitter extends to the densely planted bank of the brook." He even gives directions "The tor is easily found by entering the first gated ride, left, after the cattle-grid near Metheral." It is noted that the author alludes to the conifer planation here and by 1993 when Tim Jenkinson first visited the tor, its rocks had become overwhelmed by the trees that made access virtually impossible. The outcrops were enveloped in darkness and could only be reached by literally crawling under branches. Tim later included an account of the rocks in an article on the 'Lost Tors of Dartmoor' in 1998 writing in conclusion that "Loughten Tor has been 'lost' to the trees and will only reveal itself when extensive clearing takes place. I for one will await that day with eager anticipation."

It was feared that it would be forever lost in the depths of Fernworthy Forest, but extensive clearing of conifers took place in early 2011 and this small tor re-emerged (the first photo courtesy of Frank Collinson in March 2013, and the second and fourth pics by Tim Jenkinson in April 2011). Steve Jenkins reported the occasion in Dartmoor Magazine "Surely the most 'lost' of all Dartmoor tors is Lowton Borough; seldom written about or visited, rarely seen and never photographed until now for it is normally hidden in the trees of Fernworthy Forest". He continues "Thanks to some recent tree felling, for a short period only, you have a once in a lifetime opportunity to see this tor for yourself." Sadly, as Steve predicted, replanting in recent years has meant that the tor has disappeared once more, but despite not being able to appreciate the tor as a whole it is the finding of it nowadays that is more of an achievement. The main pile is formed by the higher rocks at SX 6666 8356 with some smaller outcrops and slabs below. To the west there is another smaller outcrop at SX 6659 8353, that is all part of the same collection but because of the trees is just as difficult to reach.

Lowton Borough Rocks
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 666 835
Height:
410m
Parish:
Dartmoor Forest
Tor Classification:
Small
Access:
Private (but accessible)
Rock Type:
Granite
Credit:
Ordnance Survey
Reference:
Ordnance Survey Map of 1809
Eric Hemery (1983): High Dartmoor
Devon County Council: The Tithe Map of the Parish of Lydford (Forest of Dartmoor)
Tim Jenkinson (1998): Investigating the Lost Tors of Dartmoor: Dartmoor Magazine no 53
Steve Jenkins (2011): Lowton Borough Revealed: Dartmoor Magazine no 103
William Crossing (1901/2): One Hundred Years on Dartmoor

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