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Foxes' Yard, The

The Fox's Yard, Fox Yard, The Foxes Yard

Ordnance Survey has long placed The Foxes' Yard deep in Lustleigh Cleave, attributed to the area between the bridleway and the River Bovey below and not one rock pile. William Crossing writes: "Other piles have also fanciful names attached to them, one being known as Harton's Chest, and another as The Foxes' Yard" and even gives a pretty good description of the route from Sharp Tor in his excellent 'Guide to Dartmoor'; "...we follow the path down the hill, avoiding the branches L., and passing some rocks called the Foxes' Yard (L. of the path and half mile from the tor) shall be led to Horsham Steps."

When attempting to retrace Crossing, it is apparent why the Foxes' Yard pile proves elusive; the area has many scattered granite boulders and distinguishing one to specifically name is not an easy task. We have noted two worthy contenders at SX 7638 8152 and SX 7641 8156.

But there may be another location for this tor, higher on the ridge to the east, courtesy of John Lloyd Warden Page, before Crossing mentions it: "The Raven's Tower an ivy-mantled crag rears its head from the ridge, bearing no inapt resemblance to the ruins of some venerable fortress. There is too the crannied pile called Fox's Yard owing its name to the harrier of adjacent henroosts who is said to frequent its fastnesses, while between these rock masses will be found two logan stones the largest bearing the name of the Nutcrackers unlike its more ponderous namesake on Rippon Tor it responds to the slightest touch." Given the arrangement of tors along the ridge and the order in which Page describes them, The Fox's Yard could conceivably be an alternative name for Croft Tor, but the author's interpretation is at odds with both Crossing's and the Ordnance Survey's representation of the Yard which is shown as lower in the Cleave and much further to the west.

Foxes' Yard, The
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 763 815
Tor Classification:
Rock Type:
William Crossing
Reference / Further Reading:
William Crossing: Guide to Dartmoor / Gems in a Granite Setting / Amid Devonia's Alps
Tors of Dartmoor: Foxes' Yard, A Round of Beef and Rethinking Water Rock
J. Lloyd Warden Page (1892): An Exploration of Dartmoor and its Antiquities-with some account of its Borders 3rd edition, Seeley and Co Limited.

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