TORS OF DARTMOOR

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Fleetwood Tor

The Tors of Dartmoor team are thankful to Paul Rendell for the notification of the existence of this impressive valley-side tor during his excursion to the area in February 2018. It is set on the steep southern slope of Fleetwood Plantation at its western edge and consists of three main piles that are mostly hidden from view under tall conifer trees. It seems that the woodland here was once the site of timber auctions in the mid to late 19th Century. This advert from January 22nd, 1870, appears in the Totnes Times and Dartmouth Gazette:

"MESSRS, RENDELL and SYMONS will SELL BY AUCTION on the CANONTEIGN ESTATE on TUESDAY FEBRUARY 1st, 1870, commencing at 1pm in FLEETWOODS PLANTATION 1000 LARCH and SPRUCE FIR TREES and a quantity of HARD and FAGOT WOOD" with the product promoted specifically for building purposes and the construction of hurdles at this time and then again very much later in 1947 as 'FIREWOOD'.

The lowest outcrop of the tor at SX 8254 8291 is quite dark and craggy but with an interesting, fissured face that is bedecked with vegetation. The rocks sit beside a narrow track that has been gradually carved into the woodland floor by successive mountain bike riders who use the area to practice their daredevil skills. This part of the tor, is perhaps better reached by walking up from the small stream below that feeds into the Canonteign Leat, but beware the climb is quite strenuous.

Above here at some 50 metres or so is the main attraction a huge, towering outcrop that dwarfs the onlooker at SX 8252 8297, one that must have been of quite considerable prominence before the trees grew up all around. It is best seen from the west side where its smooth giant granite face looms. It really is a sight to behold and is yet another example of East Dartmoor's fine rock piles but like others is now tucked away in the trees and virtually out of sight when looked for from the outcrop below. And if that was not enough, on this hillside there is another huge outcrop set away to the north-west of here once again camouflaged in vegetation but difficult to reach, especially in the summer months as the terrain is impossible to negotiate with an abundance of low-lying brambles that snag and tear at your ankles and legs whilst hiding the uncertain ground between.

The upper parts of the tor are not far from the minor road that runs down to Shuttamoor Farm from the direction of Beckhams Tree Cross and there are several opportunities to park. The outcrops can be easily accessed from here but be mindful of the ground underfoot as it not only gets steep but can also be slippery in places and because of the aforementioned vegetation it might be better to visit in the winter months when most of it has died back and is far less troublesome.

Fleetwood 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 8252 8297
Height:
230m
Parish:
Christow
Tor Classification:
Valley Side
Access:
Public
Rock Type:
Granite
Credit:
Paul Rendell
Reference:
Tors of Dartmoor Website (2021)
The British Newspaper Archive: The Totnes Times: An Advert dated to January 22nd, 1870
The British Newspaper Archive: The Western Times: 'To Be Sold by Tender' dated to November 21st, 1947

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