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Stalldown Tor

Stall Moor is a beautiful corner of the South Moor that is littered with prehistoric antiquities, including its famous stone row that is celebrated on account of the huge upright stones that run up the hill from a recumbent cairn circle at SX 63167 61721. But whilst this feature is very well noted in the literature the presence of a small tor is not as to most visitors the Down is essentially a large, domed eminence that rises between the Yealm and Erme Rivers with little natural granite.

But Eric Hemery (1983, p.240) explains; "On the west slope of Staldon above the head-basin is a tiny and nameless tor with massive exposed bedding..." and it is probable that the author (who accredits it with 'tor status') is describing the bedrock at SX 6302 6263. Using this description, and a photograph provided by Jason Maddick, Max Piper (MP) was able to confirm that the site is indeed a tor in miniature, a huge though low granite mass that affords wonderful views westward of the entire upper course of the Yealm - beyond which the eminences of Penn Beacon and Shell Top stand aloof - whilst to the north the Bledge Brook valley is visible as a small crease in the gently sloping moorland with the conical mound of the spoil heap at Red Lake rising above Brown Heath across the Erme.

About 300 metres or so to the south-east of the rocks is the magnificent Staldon Row, which is sometimes regarded as the most impressive single stone row on Dartmoor based on the size of the stones, especially at the northern end. Worth enthuses; "No other row on Dartmoor is as prominent in the landscape; standing on the crest of the ridge between the Yealm and the Erme the large stones are seen on the skyline from many points in the Erme Valley; they have the appearance of a line of mounted men advancing forward toward the observer. Size and position both contribute to their effect." A cairn circle bisects the Row near its highest point and the area represents some of the moor's most spectacular prehistory.

MP introduced the name of this tor in Dartmoor News Issue 177 January/March 2021 and also provides details about an even lesser-known feature in the vicinity; "About 150 metres to the south of Stalldown Tor can be seen a huge benchmark cut into a low boulder at SX 63075 62468, evidence of the surveying that once took place here." Stalldown Tor while not imposing is well worth a visit by any rambler who finds themselves on the lonely Stall Down to marvel at the impressive vastness of this end of the South Moor and to savour the distant views that emanate from this isolated outcrop.

Stalldown 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 6302 6263
Tor Classification:
Rock Type:
Eric Hemery
Jason Maddick
Eric Hemery (1983): High Dartmoor
Richard Hansford Worth (1953): Worth's Dartmoor
Max Piper: Dartmoor News Issue 177 January/March 2021: Exploring the Tors in Dendles Wood and on Stall Down

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