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  • Writer's pictureJodie Newton

Pew Tor Circular

Pew Tor

The doctors have told Richard his broken leg is going Tibia okay. I know, I know poor Rich can't stand broken leg puns....I'd stop but I'm having a real shindig.

All jokes aside he's on the mend slowly but surely and we've been out to visit a few Tors near Princetown in celebration.

On a sunny Sunday morning we drove up to the car park on the B3357 heading away from Princetown and just past Merrivale on the right hand side of the road. It is a fairly large carpark with plenty of spaces.

We crossed the main road and headed south on the track, crossing the pretty Grimstone and Sortridge Leat towards Vixen Tor

Vixen Tor

Vixen Tor lies on private property and currently public access is not permitted but there are some fabulous views of the Tor from the surrounding walls in this area.

It is said there was once a witch named Vixana who lived on the Tor, luring unsuspecting travellers to their death in the mire below.

We followed the stone wall surrounding Vixen Tor and continued on the marked track to Heckwood Tor. This was an area of the Moors I'd not visited before, it was peaceful and easy to bimble along taking in the beauty of the craggy rocks and gnarly little Oak trees.

Heckwood Tor

There were lots of sheep and ponies dotted along the route so we kept Neville on a lead and he seemed happy trotting along sniffing the new smells and eating as much sheep poo as he could while I wasn't looking.

As we pottered along the path headed South past Pew Tor Cottage everyone was merrily kicking piles of horse poo, making jokes and generally just enjoying being out with dad looking and feeling much better.

We reached a road by Downfield Cottages and turned right heading West until we found the track leading North to Pew Tor quarry. We

Pew Tor Quarry

stopped here and had the weather been a little warmer I may have considered a dip. However the water was pea soup green and not as inviting as more preferable Dartmoor swim spots.

We ate some snacks and took some photos whilst Neville had a bit of off lead time.

On the move once more we found the tracks through the bracken that lead up to Pew Tor.

Pew Tor is the only Dartmoor Tor to receive direct hits from German Bombers during WW2 and the craters are still visible. My daughter asked me what the large sink holes on its Southern side were and it was only on our return home and a quick Google of the area that I found her an answer. Sadly I couldn't find any information as to why it was targeted.

Local legends also tell that Pew Tor was the residence of the king of the Dartmoor pixies so keep an eye out for them and be respectful or you could find yourself in trouble.

Pew Tor WW2 bomb Crater

There were some heavily pregnant mares and new born foals resting on the Tor so Nev was once again on a lead and under control. The ponies however didn't mind our presence and even seemed fairly inquisitive. There are rock basins on the Tor to look out for and again local legends suggest they may once have been used for druidic ceremonies.

Pew Tor pony

We left Pew Tor and pottered up the track to Feather Tor.

It's a fairly small Tor but pretty and reasonably quiet with a small stream for a paddle. Following the stream North leads to Windy Post cross.

Windy Post

Bullseye Stone

Windy Post or Beckamoor Cross as it is also known is an ancient track marker which some suggest dates back to medieval times. It sits beside the leat and makes for some very picturesque landscape photos. In the Leat itself is a bullseye stone which limits the flow of water from the stream into the Leat.

From windy Post we walked back to the car along the marked footpath headed North East.

It was a fairly easy 4 mile ish walk which we all enjoyed immensely.

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