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Created by Christopher M. Pamplin B.Sc.

Welcome to Dartmoor Tors, a web site designed to give information on the
geology and scenery of Dartmoor, Devon's wild and rugged upland region.
Geology can be confusing, read the wrong book and the use of in-depth
technical jargon can leave you spinning! Although some jargon will be used in
this site, I hope to explain clearly to the beginner how Dartmoor was formed
and at the same time provide a reference for the more interested visitor.
A glossary is provided to explain geological words which you may not have
met before. I hope you enjoy your visit!

National park sign

Dartmoor, rises to a height of 619m (2,039ft) above sea level. At 248 sq.miles it is the largest of the 6 granite regions which form the spine of the Westcountry. Once known as Dartmoor forest, for it was covered by english Oak woodland it was reserved as a royal hunting ground. With thousands of years of farming, mining, house and shipbuilding the woodland is now much depleted, but a few small areas still have ancient woodland cover. One, Wistman's wood, the reputed haunt of the Devil and his Wisht Hounds is a magical place to visit. Dartmoor later became an apange of the Duchy of Cornwall, attaining National Park Status in 1951. As a National Park, Dartmoor celebrates it's 50 birthday in 2001,

   
The park covers 369 sq. miles centred on the granite, but also includes the beautiful surrounding Devon countryside. To the south and north lie the agricultural farming lands, known as the "Hams". These rich fertile lands lie on the surrounding country rock, older marine sediments and volcanic rocks of Devonian and Carboniferous age, a contrast with the upland granite areas.
Although the scenery of Dartmoor appears wild and rugged in character, it is the product of thousands of years of man's activity. Prehistoric evidence is everywhere to be seen from standing stones, stone rows, barrows and kistvaens. Later farming, quarrying and tin mining dramatically changed the landscape, over printing an archaeological heritage to the area.
stone row
dartmoor river
Many of Devon's major rivers rise on the granite uplands. The Dart, Teign, Taw, Plym, Tavy and Bovey all rise in the bogs high on the moor.
Around the fringes of the moor are the ancient stannary towns, Tavistock, Ashburton, Chagford and Plympton standing as testimony to the vibrant trade in tin during the Middle Ages.