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Tavy Cleave North Tor

Tavy Cleave Tors

The Tavy Cleave Tors are among the most glaring of omissions from Ordnance Survey Maps, for they are so striking that it is shocking to see how underrepresented they are on the most popular map of Dartmoor National Park. The five most prominent outcrops are often collectively known as the 'Tavy Cleave Tors' and have been documented as such in the literature, but only one pile, Sharp Tor, bears its own identity. This is a bit of a mistake because although that tor is perhaps the grandest of the group, it does the other outcrops a disservice. William Crossing's (1905) evocative description is the first time we get an idea on the number of tors here; "The group of tors to which allusion has been made stands above the north-eastern side of the great amphitheatre and consists of five distinct piles. They are usually known as the Tavy Cleave Tors, only one of them bearing a distinctive title." He also describes Tavy Cleave as a "defile" that "for wild grandeur is unsurpassed throughout the Moorland region".

The North Tor is due north of Sharp Tor and comprises a huge sturdy outcrop. Topped with grass, it is a very impressive rockpile that once again affords simply breathtaking views along Tavy Cleave and of Sharp Tor which sits below. Tim Jenkinson says that; "This tor perfectly illustrates what Horsham (2016) describes as 'horizontal jointing', an effect said to be produced as the granite expands when the pressure from overlying rock is relaxed."

When approaching from the north below Hare Tor, the first sight of seeing Tavy Cleave causes your heart race to quicken at the beauty seen in this deep valley, and it is the failure of the Ordnance Survey to acknowledge the existence of the grand tors above that leads to the questionability of how accurate their depiction of landscape features is. Dr. Peter Sanders and Alan Watson were the first to describe the remaining four rockpiles individually and attempted to name them in 1996, but it was Tim Jenkinson who gave them slightly adjusted names in his Spring 2019 Dartmoor Magazine article that were agreed after an assessment and consultation with the Tors of Dartmoor team.

Tavy Cleave North 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 5539 8340
Peter Tavy
Tor Classification:
Rock Type:
Alan Watson
Dr. Peter Sanders
Tim Jenkinson
William Crossing (1905): Gems in a Granite Setting
Tim Jenkinson (2019): Dartmoor Discovered: Tavy Cleave Tors Dartmoor Magazine 134 Spring
Dr. Peter Sanders and Alan Watson: Tors List 380 Tors Visitations (published privately)

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