Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Watern Tor and Tolmen Stone - Big Holes in Stone on Dartmoor

I rounded the Gertaven Mire recently, taking in Rival Tor, Watern Tor, Manga Rock and the North Teign River at Scorhill Down.

It was the first time I had some time to study the granite at Watern Tor.  It is text book pressure release jointing of the finest order.  Two of the outcrops have been so weathered as to form what they call a 'Thurlestone" meaning holed stone like the arch at Thurlestone Bay.  Though not strictly a hole, it was once and now offers a pleasing profile:

Watern Tor "Thurlestone", Dartmoor

Watern Tor "Thurlestone", Dartmoor

Further on, near Scorhill is the famous Tolmen Stone, also meaning hole in stone (Celtic).  This is fabulous - the river has eroded basins in a massive granite boulder with small rocks constantly spinning in them with the eddies of the flow.  Over millennia these smooth basins enlarge to the point where the bottom is removed, leaving a hole.

It's interesting to think of the normal river levels over the past 30,000 years or so that would have made this possible.

Passing through the stone is suppose to bring healing benefits, so long as you don't fall into the river and break your leg.

Having photographed it, I did the deed and felt ridiculous and pleased.

Tolmen Stone in North Teign River, Dartmoor

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