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Town Wood Tor

Right on the boundary of Town Wood and Cleave Wood, there are no less than five emergent outcrops set on a gentle slope above the track beside the West Webburn, which was once a popular thoroughfare from Ponsworthy to Lizwell Meet. It is a surprising tor because at first, from the aforementioned track, only part of it can be seen - the lower section - and it is very humble indeed, presenting as a rectangular granite boulder; its position suggests it had slid from its situ above, encouraging the tor bagger to explore higher.

The middle section is quickly reached, hard against the woodland's boundary wall. There are modest outcrops here with good horizontal jointing and the two piles, while only a few metres apart, are quite separate with no clitter between, although that may have been cleared to build the dry stone wall. Of these two piles, the higher is more impressive albeit entangled in vegetation, and the adjacent wall is a product of historic man's patience to construct boundaries to divide land for a variety of purposes including agriculture. Hidden in the trees, the wall, like the tor, is much adorned in moss and is quite decorative and vibrant.

To appreciate the full scale of Town Wood Tor, the visitor must ascend further, and will likely feel inclined to do so as a result of the stature of the rocks improving with the climb. Crossing a seemingly abandoned forestry track, the tor bagger will glimpse a much more significant outcrop ahead at SX 70592 73642. This is an elongated pile that is quite impressive at close-quarters. Once again partly thwarted by vegetation, it is nonetheless a hidden gem and with one final part of the upper section remaining, the tor bagger should continue their ascent.

Close to the top of the woodland and just below an old boundary wall, the summit stack will be reached at SX 70634 73687. This grand pile is shielded from view from the west by the gradient of the hill, but from the east it is most charming and boasts xenoliths and caves. Its slanted appearance topped by bracken is quite striking and the beholder shall be pleased by what they see here. Town Wood is incorporated into Buckland Woods and is private land that is managed by Fountains Forestry, from whom a permit to visit can be obtained.

Town Wood 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 7059 7364
Widecombe in the Moor
Tor Classification:
Private (seek permission)
Rock Type:
Paul Buck
Tim Jenkinson
Max Piper
Reference / Further Reading:
Tors of Dartmoor Website (2019)
Max Piper: Dartmoor News Issue 187 January/March 2023: Central Dartmoor's Lesser-Known Tors and Rocks

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