TORS OF DARTMOOR

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Bunis Tor

Marked on modern Ordnance Survey Maps as three large rocks, there is indeed a splendid tor located in the far eastern end of the woods towards Mixing Barn. Although considered an extension of Castor Copse, the 19th Century Tithe Map shows this sector as 'Little Bunis Copse'.

We were originally contacted about this area by Jake Parrish, in June 2019, where he described: "a significant outcrop much further back from the summit [of Higher Castor], towards Mixing Barn. It has a wall built up to create a kind of dwelling underneath its overhang." This intriguing feature, we later discovered, is also noted in Tony Brooks' (2016) fabulous book about Kelly Mine and the Shiny Ore Mines of the Wray Valley: "At the end of the forestry track is a second adit on the main lode. This leads back to the west, with a slot drop to a lower level. No workings are visible further east. However there is a faint trace of a path leading further east to a small building." He continues: "Built against a massive granite rock, it is rubble built with traces of mortar, and the remains of a corrugated roof. This could have been the magazine or possibly a miners' grub hut." Nick Walter, who is a member of the Kelly Mine Preservation Society and is very knowledgeable about the area, believes it to be an explosives store/magazine for Hawkmoor Mine. He reasons that because it is situated well away from the workings, any accidental explosion would not have a devastating impact. A miners' grub hut or miners' dry is a building where the workers would have eaten, taken refuge or dried clothes and would normally be situated closer to the mine so it could be easily accessed, which potentially discounts that theory here.

This ruin is quite substantial and utilises the impressive western outcrop of the tor. It is high enough to walk into and utilises a huge granite overhang sloping at roughly 45 degrees. It is a dark and gloomy atmosphere inside and the crumbling window is indicative of its age. Sited at SX 80177 81696, this part of Bunis Tor is impressive and embellished by resilient trees that sprout from its cracks.

At SX 80232 81717 lies the eastern section. Equally as striking, this contains large outcrops that emerge from the woodland floor. The rocks here are marked by horizontal jointings and fissures. What is strange about this part of the tor is the variation of granite geology: you can observe veins of angular rock between more coarse-grained granite. This effect is somewhat reminiscent of that at Crow Tor on the North Moor at SX 6062 7878. Please note that although situated on land owned by Dartmoor National Park Authority, the entire woodland is isolated from nearby public access points and will therefore necessitate passing through private land. In this instance, you are advised to seek permission.

Bunis 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 802 817
Height:
230m
Parish:
Bovey Tracey
Tor Classification:
Emergent
Access:
Private (seek permission)
Rock Type:
Granite
Credit:
Jake Parrish
Tony Brooks
Max Piper
Paul Buck
Reference:
Devon County Council: Tithe Map of the Parish of Bovey Tracey
Tony Brooks (2016): Kelly Mine: And the 'Shiny Ore' Mines of the Wray Valley

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