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Rock Copse Tor

In that part of Shaptor Wood shown as Rock (or Rocky) Copse on noticeboards at either end of the main footpaths leading through the trees here, are the dual magnificently shaped piles of an imposing tor. Situated some 150m away to the west of the magnificent Bowden Tor with its distinctive 'Overhang', this tor is a totally different proposition, one of the finest tors on East Dartmoor.

Superbly rounded stacks, attractive and shapely all rise up from the wooded floor high above the main 'wood path'. Tim Jenkinson (2014) writes about the area; "A fine tor can be seen in that part of the wood known as Rocky Copse at SX 815803 where two simply awe-inspiring rock piles of significant stature on the slopes above the path dwarf the onlooker. Rising to some 8 metres or so in height, the southern rocks have quite distinctive round edges and shapes."

The tor is simply mesmerising and its unusual appearance is dotted with many xenoliths (small protrusions of 'country rock' which were absorbed into the granite magma), the largest of which sits on the west side of the western outcrop. Also, towards the east of the main granite towers, can be found two smaller versions, nicknamed 'The Squeeze Boulder' and 'Silk Purse Boulder' by the bouldering community although the origins of these names are unknown.

Rock Copse 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 8157 8036
Tor Classification:
Valley Side
Rock Type:
Tim Jenkinson
Reference / Further Reading:
Tim Jenkinson: Dartmoor Magazine Issue 115 Summer 2014: Dartmoor Discovered: Shaptor Woods page 27

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