Haytor, the most accessible tor on Dartmoor
Haytor, or Hey Tor less commonly these days (hey might possibly come from high).
Haytor is easy to get to – as easy as Dartmoor ever makes things. It’s also a very prominent landmark from the Teignmouth coast to glimpses from the A38 between Exeter and Totnes. It’s a massive pile of granite that humans have been climbing up for as long as we have records.
The rocks were probably named Idetordoune, we have records from 1566 saying so. But Hey Tor (note the traditional spelling) is quite a recent name and might be based on the name of a village that is now lost. The village was between Newton Abbot and Totnes – so, within sight of the tor – but the exact location is unknown. Between these two South Devon towns is Ipplepen – one of the more significant archeological digs in this part of the world.
Could the missing village have an association with Ipplepen?
Either way, Haytor is accessible by car and only a short walk from the nearest car park (see map below). Of course, the walk is steep and you should climb carefully – enjoy the steps carved into the rock that help you as you near the summit. They were built in the 1800’s and not everyone liked them!
The tor itself is granite – about 65% of Dartmoor is granite – and the tors, like Hey Tor, are simply where the softer ground has been worn away, leaving the rock dramatically exposed. One single tor is made of different stone. It’s Bentor, which has a church built upon volcanic rock, read more…