52 for 2021 Week 41 Ugborough and Western Beacons
17 Oct 2021 9:40AM
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This week joined by Mrs T I went in search of Dartmoors southernmost Tor which some say is Ugborough Beacon but Western Beacon is almost as high and is further south. A quick Google finds both Wikipedia and Tors of Dartmoor listing Western Beacon as the southernmost hill (Wiki) Tor (Tors of Dartmoor). Furthering the confusion is that in the Dartmoor 365 Book by John Hayward he states that Ugborough Beacon is the southernmost Tor and that Western Beacon isnt formally a Tor (but he does say that it is the southernmost hill) also in the Dartmoor Tors pocket guide by Janet and Ossie Palmer the Gazetteer of Dartmoor Tors only lists Ugborough Beacon. ??
Our walk started below Western Beacon but I had seen a disused Quarry marked on the map so we went to have a look at that before setting off up Western Beacon. It turned out to be a lot less of a Quarry than I had expected.
On the way to the Quarry we passed what appeared to be an old bridge long since disused/derelicted. Had we not got a long hike ahead of us I would have liked to go down to explore it but it will have to wait for another visit.
We had more pressing matters (the beacons) so we went back to the Moor Gate and headed up Western Beacon.
On the way up the first slopes we could see the rather quaint looking Mooraven Village.
Western Beacon itself has been quarried but that isnt evident from the map.
It also has a rather odd group of rock piles on the Cairn.
Once over Western Beacon we headed for Butterdon Hill which is also further south than Ugborough Beacon and is also known as Black Tor by some.
The Stone Row points the way which takes you past the Longstone beside Black Pool (not the seaside town). This view looking back towards Western Beacon.
On Butterdon Hill there is a Trig Point and from that point we could see across to Ugborough Beacon.
But sadly looking to the West we could also see the scar of the Clayworks at Lee Mill.
From here we could see Hangershell Rock, this was not on the original route plan but we decided to go over and have a look.
Once at the Hangershell Rocks we took time out to have lunch in the lee of the rocks.
From our lunch spot we could see across to Tristis Rock which is on my list of sites to visit but not for this trip, it sits on the opposite bank of the River Erme and needs to be approached from that side. Another day.
As we moved away towards Ugborough Beacon looking back we could see all the way to Plymouth Sound.
We made our way towards Ugborough Beacon.
Passing Main Head which is the start of the spring/stream.
Ugborough Beacon isnt the biggest Tor I have visited but it does have some interesting rock formations.
And some nice views.
I spotted a Kestrel out looking for lunch, I managed to get a shot but I really dont have the right kit for these kinds of shots (Im a landscaper not a wildlifer).
Anyway, it was now time to head off back to the car.
On the way back we saw some curious things, this water hole seemed to be a natural drain for the rainwater into the stream below.
We also passed this derelict building, not sure what it used to be though.
Finally we got back to the Moor Gate and the car.
We did see some Ponies on this trip though.
Thats all for this week folks. As always, comments welcome.
Landscape and travel