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Rowden Tor

Rowden Ball

An interesting little tor with an 'air of semi wildness' (Crossing 1912), that is set atop Rowden Ball. It retains two small memorial plates to Dartmoor author Dr Jeffrey Wentworth Malim and his wife Mary. There is an extract from a letter to Dartmoor Magazine from Brian Le Messurier upon the conclusion of the Lesser Known Tor articles in Spring 1997 that mentions Rowden Tor: 'Tim Jenkinson's series of four articles on the Lesser Known Tors of Dartmoor has been very worthwhile and this reader is sorry that they have come to an end. In the last article of the sequence (DM 45) he mentions Rowden Tor and I was reminded that many years ago I found it bore two small metal plates in memory of Jeffrey W. Malim (author of Romance of Dartmoor) who died in 1958 and his wife Mary. I suspect their ashes were scattered nearby. The plaques were still there on Christmas morning.'

In 2013 Tim Jenkinson was contacted by the great grandson Chris who explained that Dr Malim was also part of the Dobson's Moormen walking club that established the Duck's Pool Letterbox in memory of William Crossing in 1938.

To the north of the tor, beyond the ruin of a fine circular settlement on that part known as Rowden Down is an impressive rock field quite unusual in so much that it is wide and spread for a good distance with all the boulders quite separate and sparse. On inspection they present as a rather light faced type of granite of low rocks that are mostly embedded in the turf but the lack of vegetation and sometimes charred gorse here suggests that the Down is annually burnt by farmers, an action known locally on Dartmoor as 'swaling' and this might account for their exposed appearance. Lower down off the northern slope is a lone fair sized outcrop (SX 6985 7629) but of no great height it is nonetheless an interesting rock indicative perhaps of a once small tor at the site here. Thanks go to Rob Naylor for bringing this rock to our attention. Views from here are good especially up to Hameldon Beacon to the north and along the line of trees known as Beech Hedge.

Rowden 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 6990 7580
Widecombe in the Moor
Tor Classification:
Rock Type:
William Crossing
William Crossing: Guide to Dartmoor
Tim Jenkinson: East Dartmoor The Hidden Landscape: Rocks and Tors
Brian Le Messurier (1997): 'Letter to Dartmoor Magazine: Rowden Tor' Dartmoor Magazine 46 Spring
Rob Naylor: Dartefacts: Rowden Rock

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