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Woodcock Tor

It seems that one of the earliest references to Woodcock Hill in the Lyd Valley of the northern moor appears in a Firing Notice from the Devon Voluntary Infantry Brigade that was published on the 4th August 1906 in the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette. By the order of Captain G.F. Dixon the public are warned to stay away from numerous areas of the north moor including Woodcock Hill from 9.30 am until 4pm on August 10th during a special event, as it is 'dangerous to enter'. In the 1912 edition of the Guide to Dartmoor William Crossing briefly mentions the Hill on three occasions but gives no detail on the sprawl of lowly granite piles that spread across the western slopes above and to the north of Smallacombe Stream.

Indeed it is not until 1983 that we learn more from Eric Hemery (p908) who explains that 'The short combe opening between Woodcock Hill and Great Links Tor is not without interest. Small rock outcrops, very broken and scattered occur above the north side of the valley on Woodcock Hill'.

The lowly tor here is now totally in ruin, but its rubble and few outcrops cover a wide area and are perhaps indicative of a once significant pile at this spot before its collapse. Wherever you stand on Woodcock Hill the scenery is breath taking and is nicely summed up by Emma Inglis of Devon Life who writes in 2015 'The view from Woodcock Hill on Dartmoor inspires. From here you see for miles across the aching emptiness of moor. A winding track carves back over Tiger's Marsh, over humps and hummocks to Sourton Tors and the walkers and picnickers at Prewley Moor. But at Woodcock Hill you feel removed from everyone and everything. Rarely will you see a soul'. For this reason alone it is well worth a visit.

Woodcock 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 549 875
Lands common to the Parishes of Bridestowe and Sourton
Tor Classification:
Rock Type:
Eric Hemery
The British Newspaper Archive
Eric Hemery: High Dartmoor
Emma Inglis (2015): Devon Life
The British Newspaper Archive: Plymouth and Exeter Gazette August 4th 1906

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