Shaptor Woods and HG Hurrell

High above Bovey Tracey at the end of the Wray Valley next to the National Trust’s Bearacleave Wood is another lovely woodland accessible to the public – it is Shaptor Woods and is owned and managed by the Woodland Trust. Here are the details of how to visit.

It is a classic Dartmoor oak woodland and amonst the trees there are a number of huge granite boulders / Tors.

ShaptorThe most famous of these is Shaptor Rock

Shaptor WoodsDoes anyone know whether any of these other rock outcrops have names?

Shaptor Woods 2And this one?


Finally, near to Shaptor Rock is this simple plaque – a dedication to the influential and highly effective Devon conservationist HG Hurrell – it says ‘A distinguished naturalist held in high esteem by all who knew him’ hear hear.


5 thoughts on “Shaptor Woods and HG Hurrell

  1. Tor names to consider in Shaptor Woods include Shaptor Bottom Tor, Sunny Copse Tor North, Sunny Copse Tor South, (spelt “Sunny” on OS Streetview GB map,) Pixey Close Tor, Bowden Tor, Stonelands Waste Tors 1, 2, 3 & 4.

  2. Adrian,
    I was discussing this with David Rickwood at the Fingle gathering last Friday. Tim Jenkinson has been documenting the “Lesser Known Tors” of Dartmoor and drew my attention to these tors a couple of years ago. He names the tors according to the woodland names shown on the noticeboards – but unfortunately all the boards show different names. The old OS maps show Pixey Close and Sunny Copse, though two of the noticeboards show “Sonny” Copse and Pixey “Copse”, but since the third board uses OS names I don’t think that the woodland trust have discovered anything new.
    The local boulder climbers seem to have assigned various names to the climbs on these rocks (, though not to the rocks themselves.
    As far as I can tell only two tors have names – Gladstone Rock, a long way to the East of the woods (SX 80271 81248), and John Cann’s Rocks (SX 81467 79842), which are described in detail by Willing Crossing in his Guide and elsewhere, though which are now much overgrown, and are on the other side of the main track (Little John’s Walk) from the tors that you have pictured.
    My own favourite tor is at SX 81559 80364, which I describe as “Rock Copse South (Looks like Brimham Rocks)”, since it is spectacular and is very reminiscent of Brimham Rocks in Yorkshire – though of granite.
    My own list includes about 40 rocks/tors in the woodland – though most people would probably group these together as as a dozen or so distinct “tors”.
    As far as I known the only published accounts of these (apart from Shap Tor and John Cann’s Rocks) are by Tim Jenkinson in Dartmoor Magazine, though his articles barely scratch the surface of what is in the woodlands.
    The real difficulty is that most of the rocks require considerable scrambling through the undergrowth – apart from the main track this is a diabolical area for walkers.
    I hope this helps.
    I can supply you with detailed GRs for all of the rock piles if it is of any interest.
    Best wishes
    Stephen Jenkins
    PS It was good to talk to you about Fingle Woods at the meeting on Friday. I found your attitude very encouraging for the future.

  3. Hi there. I am the very same Tim Jenkinson that Steve Jenkins refers to in such a dismissive fashion. I am compiling a long list of East Dartmoor Tors that one day both he and others will benefit from. Simply tap into a search engine ‘East Dartmoor Lesser Known Tors’ and you will see my work. All the best


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s