North Hessary Tor walk

Stone row, looking East towards Four Winds

This walk incorporates: Merrivale Stone Rows and Kistvaen, North Hessary Tor, Hollow Tor, Rundlestone Tor

The walk runs parallel with the B3357 which is both a landmark and unobtrusive due to the lay of the land. It holds some very accessible, yet spectacular Bronze Age structures in the form of: stone rows, a Kistvaen still with a large capping stone, a Menhir Standing Stone and a settlement. In more recent times there is evidence of: disused opencast tin streaming, granite quarrying and to top it all a modern television mast.

Small cairn and kistvaen withiin the Southerly stone row.

The walk is easy to find and follow with obvious land-marks, particularly the television mast at the top of North Hessary Tor. The car park on the B3357 (SX 553750) is only a short walk South East to the stone rows (SX 554747) at the top of the grassy hill. As you ascend the hill from the car park for 200 metres, to your left is a Bronze Age settlement which has an closure and some well defined Hut Circle. Well worth a look as you are passing and may put into context why the up-coming stone rows were so located.

Drystone wall at Four Winds carpark

From the Stone Rows follow the leat upstream, East towards North Hessary Tor.  The leat will take you safely passed another carpark, which has a good quality dry stone wall nearby. This drystone wall actually forms part of the gardens for the old Four WInds School, which stood where the car park is now laid. From the Four winds carpark continue along the leat and on to the head of the disused tin-streaming workings.

Hollow Tor

Staying on the South-side of the road and continuing eastwards, gently uphill you will come to a small but obvious rock Tor. This is Hollow Tor (SX 571746). From Hollow Tor the last part of the ascent to North Hessary Tor (SX 578742) and the Communications mast. Heading down Northwards from North Hessary Tor you can pick up Rundlestone Tor (SX 576746) and then follow your path back West toward the Stone Rows and car park.

There are other variants on this route which take in Foggintor quarry, Swelltor Quarries and King’s Tor. You are advised to avoid the low-land marsh area west of Yellowmeade Farm, it really is permenantly wet except for the driest of summers. Apart from the marsh, the whole area is easy to get around, never far from an easy escape and has loads of things to see and visit.

Diary Details

Sketch map of walk

Weather: A cold North Westerly drove across dartmoor. Temp. 4-5 deg. there is not too much shelter on this walk and so frequent warming stops were required. Snow was still on the ground which had survived from the wind in small drifts in deep hollows. Route: The route is obvious by its most obvious start at the stone rows, to to tall mast, whilst following the stream made it enjoyable for the younger guy. Noticeable event: The small snow drifts, 6-12 inches deep in places (05-03-05). Group: 1 adults and 2 children under 10. Distance: 5 km Walk time: 2hr+

Other images along the walk

 

Hollow Tor (left) & North Hessery Tor communications mast (right)