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Pinmoor Rocks

Pin Tor, Wooston Rocks

A quite magnificent tor can be found on the wooded slopes to the east of Willingstone Farm. The tor outcrops spread westward from the summit rocks into the boulder-strewn woods below. Here there are at least three main rock piles, one of which has a spectacular rock basin as seen below. Surprisingly, despite the vast area that these outcrops cover, there is little representation on current Ordnance Survey (OS) maps. They can be reached via a public footpath to the east of the aforementioned farm where the lower part of the tor is best viewed. The upper outcrop appears, at first, to be out of bounds, but entry can be gained via a new metal gate at the south-east corner of the Open Access Land beside the road. This is the only entry point.

There is little known about the origin of the tor's modern identity of 'Pin Tor' as the earliest reference we have found is to 'Wooston Rocks' in the article entitled 'TO FINGLE BRIDGE and WHIDDON PARK' by Arthur Wilde in The Western Times Feb 18th, 1944. When describing a walk to Fingle Bridge from Moretonhampstead he writes: "This vale or gorge of the River Teign from Sandy Park, Chagford to Steps Bridge must measure about eight miles and I am aware of its 'manifold sweep' when I view it from the summit of Wooston Rocks which must not be confused with Wooston Castle nearby." He goes on: "From Wooston Rocks the ancient earthworks on Prestonbury Camp can be picked out by those with good sight and the steepness of its precipitous slopes can also be appreciated from this point."

Then under the heading of WOOSTON ROCKS we get further details on the location and the vista: "From Wooston Rocks our gaze continues right along the extensive ridge of the Fingle Gorge whose undulations resemble the back of a huge whale. On its spacious hillside are charming stretches of heather, bracken and woodland and in the direction of Exeter there is a perfect patchwork of meadowland and cultivated fields." He adds: "Wooston Rocks is a favourite short stroll of mine and I love its rolling panoramic view, which also embraces Hay Tor Rocks and the moorland ranges above Moreton and Mardon Down." To conclude this evocative account, Wilde comments that near the summit can be found "one of those grotesquely shaped boulders" that resembles "a huge frog with its mouth open and about to take a leap."

An alternative name for the tor is given a couple of decades later by the Institute of Geological Sciences in 1962 and, in their 1968 book titled the 'Geology of the Country around OKEHAMPTON', they confidently proclaim: "Pinmoor Rocks [756888] is the name of a prominent granite tor 300 yd E.N.E. of Willingstone Rock. The tor is composed of well-jointed big-feldspar granite with megacrysts up to about 75 mm across. The margin of the granite has been mapped immediately N. of the tor. The hollow between Willingstone Rock and Pinmoor Rocks may mark the line of a N.N.W. - S.S.E. fault along which the boundary may be displaced."

Pinmoor 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 755 887
Tor Classification:
Rock Type:
Arthur Wilde
Reference / Further Reading:
Tim Jenkinson: East Dartmoor The Hidden Landscape: Rocks and Tors (published privately)
Institute of Geological Sciences: Geology of the Country around OKEHAMPTON (1968)
Arthur Wilde: The Western Times: TO FINGLE BRIDGE and WHIDDON PARK Feb 18th, 1944
Max Piper and Tim Jenkinson (2020): Dartmoor Magazine Issue 140 Winter: 'Lesser-known' Rock Basins

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