TORS OF DARTMOOR

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Flock o' Sheep Rocks

Flock o' Sheep Rocks

One of Dartmoor's more unusual names is attached to a ruined rockpile on the south west shoulder of White (Whit) Hill to the north-west of Little Hound Tor. It seems that the Flock o' Sheep Rocks is first mentioned by William Crossing in the 'Guide to Dartmoor' where after describing a group of ruined stone huts in the vicinity the author remarks 'Below this group the hill which sinks down to Small Brook, is covered with rocks between which whortleberry plants grow in great profusion. One cluster of these granite masses near the stream is called the Flock o' Sheep.'

Flock o' Sheep Rocks

Later we learn a little more from Eric Hemery's account in High Dartmoor where describing a view from the track under what he calls Round Tor (Hound Tor) he lists the various features on view 'from this point can be seen the tip of Watern Tor, Wild Tor, the dominating Hangingstone Hill and the waterfalls at Chimney Bow; northward are Big and Little Whit Hills and Flock O' Sheep Rocks backed by Cosdon.'

Flock O Sheep Rocks SX 6298 9037 view to Little Hound Tor and Hound Tor

In an attempt to provide a position for the Rocks, Mike Brown (1995) provides a tentative grid reference of SX 628907 but at a point that is too far north and not visible from the slopes of Hound Tor. Under the highest hut circles on Whit Hill is a small fissured outcrop with spreading clitter beneath that stretches for some distance across the slopes here, which is altogether more in keeping with Crossing's observations. Below the main part of the rocks lies a forgotten cross first described by Dave Edgecombe with its authenticity later confirmed by Jane Marchand one time chief archaeologist for Dartmoor National Park. It is a huge artefact with distinctive cross head shape. More settlements and hut circles can be found on the slopes to the north west above Small Brook.

Big Whit Hill Cross below Flock o' Sheep Rocks
Flock o' Sheep Rocks
Grid Ref:
SX 6298 9037
Height:
455m
Parish:
Dartmoor Forest
Tor Classification:
Ruined
Access:
Public
Rock Type:
Granite
Credit:
William Crossing
Reference:
William Crossing: Guide to Dartmoor
Eric Hemery: High Dartmoor
Dave Edgecombe: Big Whit Hill Cross