Haytor - Boundary Stones - Tors - Emsworthy

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Haytor is the most frequently visited tor on Dartmoor according to Dartmoor National Park Authority, but there is much more to the area than a walk up to Haytor, across to Saddle Tor and back. The walk takes you in a wide loop all around the Haytor Down area. You will pass by at least six tors, including all the OS large named tors and two not named on OS maps. It was once an area of intense granite quarrying and there is plenty of evidence of that industrial heritage for walkers to enjoy. Three Dartmoor parishes share parts of Haytor Down and Black Hill to the north and the parish boundary stones are unusually named with names linked to royalty. The walk commences from a small car park near these boundary stones and leads the walker by four of those stones with names like Prince of Wales, Victoria and Old Jack. From the boundary stones you make your way up to one of the highest points on Black Hill, an outcrop named Black Hill Rocks with superb views across the steep valley west to Greator Rocks and Hound Tor.

You will see the unusual granite-railed tramways that were used to convey the massive amounts of granite quarried in the the major quarries down to the seaport of Teignmouth, also walk into and around both Haytor Quarry and the immense Holwell Quarry. The area to the south-west of Holwell Tor is less well-known to walkers, although it is the location of a large Bronze Age circular settlement and nearer Emsworthy, five large hut-circles. The difficulty arises because of the boggy and bracken-infested terrain in the area. Although the route was initially planned, it was removed by the author as being too risky. Those wishing to take the lower short cut route from Holwell across to Emsworthy will have to do so without Walkingworld guidance, since this walk offers a safer route above the bogs and the worst of the bracken from Holwell Tor to the entrance to the Emsworthy Farm enclosures.

Emsworthy Farm is in the process of having the dry-stone wall enclosures renovated and if you are lucky you may see dry-stone wallers working on the walls, once a common sight but now almost a lost art.

England - South West England - Devon - Dartmoor

Features

Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Industrial Archaeology, Moor, Toilets

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