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Yealm Steps

Yealm Falls, Glen on the Yealm

Ordnance Survey have always helpfully marked and labelled this fine cascade on successive editions of their maps, but we find that Eric Hemery has called it 'Yealm Falls' and places 'Yealm Steps' lower down the river, associating the name with the "...stones of the old crossing-place still in position beside a much-used ford." Crossing, in both his 'Gems in a Granite Setting' and 'Guide to Dartmoor' fails to provide any clarity to the location.

Whilst not mentioning the Steps in Gems, Crossing has not ignored the modern location, enthusing about a 'Glen on the Yealm'; "Not far from its source is a romantic glen, into which the stream falls from a considerable height over a number of ledges of rock. It is one of those spots met with on the Moor that at once surprise and delight the stranger... It is like finding a diamond on a beach of rare-coloured pebbles; all are good to look upon, but pale beside the one precious gem."

Harry Starkey, describing his excursion 'Up the Yealm and down the Erme' in his book 'Exploring Dartmoor' agrees with the Ordnance Survey location; "Returning to the river we are now at the foot of a steep cliff down which the river finds its way in a series of little cataracts. We mount to the head of the cliff - Yealm Steps is its local name - by the steep path on the east bank. From here views to the south are extensive and spectacular, extending as they do to the coast and the sea beyond."

Yealm Steps
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 6174 6367
Tor Classification:
Rock Type:
Ordnance Survey
Ordnance Survey Maps
William Crossing: Gems in a Granite Setting & Guide to Dartmoor
F.H. (Harry) Starkey: Exploring Dartmoor
Eric Hemery: High Dartmoor

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