TORS OF DARTMOOR

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Spitchwick Rock Face

The rock face at Spitchwick on the east bank of the River Dart at Deeper Marsh is a well known and much visited beauty spot. The open grassy area beside the river means that over the years it has become extremely popular with picnickers and barbeque parties. However, in 2017 the landowner Patrick Simpson in conjunction with DNPA made the decision to permanently close the nearby car park to try and deter visitors after a spate of illegal fires, vandalism and the dumping of rubbish at the site. People were even reported to have been smashing bottles on the rock face and abusing the civil enforcement officers trying to stop them.

Of equal interest to visitors is the river under the rock face that forms an inviting pool and is still frequented by swimmers and those engaging in the rather dangerous pastime of 'tombstoning' or leaping from the cliff. The nearest pay and display car park is at Newbridge and to discourage people from parking on the hill, double yellow lines have now been painted along its entirety. People still come and walk to the spot from Newbridge but not in such great numbers as before but a teenager still had to be rescued from the river as recently as July 2019 after a rope swing accident resulted in him fracturing his skull.

Whilst the rock face is impressive, sheer and craggy and its appeal above the gentle river is quite evident, it is a shame that the area is nowadays better known for the problematic and irresponsible behaviour of visitors. However, as things seem to have calmed down since the car park closure a visit is thoroughly recommended as it is indeed a picturesque spot a place to spend some time and enjoy what can be tranquil and quite beautiful surroundings.

Spitchwick Rock Face
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 715 711
Height:
100m
Parish:
Holne
Tor Classification:
Valley Side
Access:
Private (but visible from public land)
Rock Type:
Metamorphic
Credit:
Tim Jenkinson
Reference:
Tim Jenkinson: East Dartmoor The Hidden Landscape: Rocks and Tors

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