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Sheeps Tor

Sheeps Tor is one of Dartmoor's most imposing tors and it dominates the Burrator reservoir. In reality, Sheeptor is a solid piece of granite that is crowned by four separate tors. Sheepstor itself is on the SW face with Maiden tor on the SE face and other unnamed piles on the northern faces. There's a lot of clitter around The origin of Sheeps is unclear but over the centuries this bit of granite has had some unusual names. In 1168 it was known as Sitelestorra (the jagged tor), in 1262 it was Skyteletor (a surprisingly topical name for the digital age), in 1474 it had reverted to a more scatalogical Shittestor and in 1547 it was known as Shistor. On the western side of the tor was a small rabbit warren and you can see the remains of the buries. Asd the pictures show there are superb views all around.
The walk starts from the car park (SX 579673) past the hamlet of Sheepstor. Cross the ford and head north skirting the fields. Bear NW, walk past the stone circle, cross the leat and finally bear west which then takes you up the slope to Sheeps Tor. Descend by the steep NE slope towards Roughtor plantation, and walk along the paths (don't cross the stream) until you get to the edge where there's the remains of an old shaft. Walk down to the Narrator Brook, cross it and after a little wet ground walk up to Combeshead Tor passing the Cuckoo rock as you go. From Combeshead you could venture forth to the stone row directly north, but we crossed the Narrator and then worked our way south and then SW back to the car park passing through the remains of past tin excavations and then over a graasy plain.
The walk is fairly easy and is just about 4 miles. There's a little climb up to the tor and a nice climb down to the Roughtor plantation. Sheepstor hamlet is well worth visiting. There's a good old water well and some unusual things to see in the church. The army is nowhere near.
 
A view of Sheeps Tor taken from the side of Ringmoor down at SX 563671. The hamlet of Sheepstor is on the left whereas the distinctive shapes of Sharpitor and Leather Tor are on the horizon. There's some fine stone walling in this area.
The car park at SX 579673.
The Sheepstor ford at SX 579673.
Yellowmead circles - the four ringed Bronze age stone circle at SX 574678. This is quite a unique site and may be associated with an unknown burial. Alternatively, it could be ceremonial. Sheeps Tor is on the horizon.
A closer look at the stone circle. There are about 40 stones in each circle, although some stones are missing. The circle was substantially restored in 1921. Before then barely 3 stones were visible.
Heading up the gentle slope towards Sheeps Tor. I've no idea what the structure in the foreground is.
The westerly view from Sheeps Tor. There's an enclosure on the left which may have something to do with the warren that is on the right.
The Se view from Sheeps Tor. You can see Hen Tor in the distance just above Gutter Tor. On the right horizon are Trowlesworthy tors. The clump of trees encloses a scout hut and is near to our car park.
Another westerly view from Sheeps Tor. This time we're right above where the warren used to be.
Looking over Burrator reservoir. On the far horizon lies the Cornwall and Bodmin Moor.
A NE view looking towards Down Tor. The straggly trees are those of Middleworth plantation.
We're beginning to descend down the NE slope towards Roughtor plantation.
Looking back up at the NE side of Sheeps Tor.
A tree laden with mosses within Roughtor plantation. This is a lovely place to walk through.
A woodland track within the Roughtor plantation.
A load of rocks beside the path in the plantation
We're coming out of the plantation now - here's the remains of an old tin workings.
We're about to walk down to the Narrator brook from SX 579684. Slightly to the left is the extensive clitter that surrounds Combeshead Tor. You might just be able to make out Cuckoo Rock within it.
Narrator brook at SX 581685. A delightful place.
Cuckoo rock - a strange looking piece of granite at SX 585687. There's a cave on the bottom left of the rock which legend has it was used to store smuggled brandy.
Cuckoo rock. It lies on the SW boulder slope below Combeshead Tor
One of the boulders lying around Combeshead Tor. Looks a bit like a beagle's head. There's a lot of large and curiously shaped rocks around here and apparently there are a few secret caches around which we didn't find.
Combeshead Tor - SX 588688.
Tin workings at the start of Outcombe brook.
Looking back at Combeshead tor from SX 589679.
A final view of Sheeps Tor close to the car park.
 


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