TORS OF DARTMOOR

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Scatter Rock

Scat Tor Rock, Skat Tor, Skatter Rock

William Crossing describes Scatter Rock (which is also known as Skat Tor) as residing on Christow Common which marks the boundary between the parishes of Bridford and Christow. In 'The Teign From Moor to Sea' published in 1986 (page 39) but containing accounts from the early 20th Century the author explains that the tor is situated on the hill to the south of Bridford village and that it can be "very easily ascended as nature has so formed it that the rock presents as series of rude steps."

However, it seems that Crossing was writing well before the area was developed into the successful road stone Scatter Rock Quarry by John H Dickson (Paddy Dickson's uncle) and Joseph Tiplady in 1914. Rock from the quarry was crushed and then graded into hard wearing road stone, aggregate and ballast.

We learn from the website aditnow.co.uk that "An aerial ropeway system with forty circulating half ton skips carrying stone direct from the quarry to Christow station was installed and as part of the planning consent the Company constructed a new road from Teign House to Christow station which was of benefit to all." During this time the substance of the tor was destroyed by blasting before quarry operations ceased, but there is some dispute about when this happened, with the website aditnow.co.uk stating that "It appears to have ceased operations around 1927 and in 1929 the stone crushing plant and the link to Christow were sold off for use by the barytes mine." However, we learn from Lawrence W Pomroy (1995) in The Heathfield to Exeter (Teign Valley) Railway book (page 81) that "The largest quarry was Scatter Rock which was operated over a considerable period until 1954 when the cost of crushing the stone (renowned for being a particularly hard quality) became prohibitive." This interpretation seems more probable.

In an article in the Western Times entitled 'Teign Valley Riches', Scatter Rock is described as being the "nucleus of an important road stone industry" and when reflecting on the extent of the works that once took place here it certainly appeared to be a very valuable resource for the industry. That said, the site today is fenced off, overgrown and the upper quarry flooded.

Despite this Ken Ringwood (2013) implies that the tor is still extant "with several steep-sided linear outcrops" but given the earlier account this seems unlikely. However, a recent visit to the location in December 2019 revealed a ruined, quarried outcrop at SX 82050 85508 which is just to the west of the NGR of SX 8209 8548 given by Ringwood. It is an impressive mound of rock which is best seen from below on the eastern side at a track leading to the quarry but is best summited from the western side. It is hard to locate the actual summit of Skat Tor but a modest, cracked outcrop sits at the top of this part and there may well be more exposed rock deeper into the woods.

Scatter Rock
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 8205 8550
Height:
285m
Parish:
Bridford
Tor Classification:
Ruined
Access:
Private (seek permission)
Rock Type:
Metamorphic
Credit:
William Crossing
Reference:
Ordnance Survey Maps
William Crossing (1986): The Teign: From Moor to Sea
aditnow.co.uk
The British Newspaper Archive: The Western Times: Article entitled 'Teign Valley Riches', Friday September 24th, 1920
Lawrence W Pomroy (1995): The Heathfield to Exeter (Teign Valley) Railway

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