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Metheral Hole

Crossing gives the definition of 'hole' as "Equivalent to hallow. The name is sometimes applied to the head of a combe, but oftener to the narrow part of a river valley" and it is the latter that is suitably attributed to the scene to be found where Steeperton Brook cascades between the hills of Steeperton and Metheral. This small valley is a delight and more picturesque than the better known gorge on the west side of Steeperton Hill.

It is Eric Hemery (1983) that is the first to introduce us to the name when guiding us down from Chimney Bow; "The right-bank plain narrows to a point where another mass of rocks appears, and the brook casts itself into the beautiful little gorge known as 'Metheral Hole', this taking its name from Metheral Hill, the smooth, heathery eminence above its right bank."

Near where the river exits the gorge there stands a large tree, its roots clinging defiantly to an emergent boulder. Here Steeperton Brook makes its final tumble over granite before slowing to a gentle meander and an unceremonious meet with the River Taw.

Metheral Hole
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 621 894
Dartmoor Forest
Tor Classification:
Rock Type:
Eric Hemery
Reference / Further Reading:
Eric Hemery: High Dartmoor
William Crossing: Guide to Dartmoor

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