Kestor and Scorhill

Spent a great day up on the high moor yesterday checkpointing our 10 Tors training teams

Kes Tor1
Started off at Kestor high above Chagford – you can see the snow on the ridge leading up to Watern Tor

Kes Tor
The Legendary Dartmoor website recently posted a piece about Kestor and the possible derivation of its name – see here. Over the years it has been known as Kestor, Kestor Rocks, Kes Tor, Castor – all of which might have been a mis-spelling of the local dialect – maybe it is in fact Cats Tor – a reference to a long gone past when wild cats used to live in the area…. another lost and forgotten Dartmoor species which I call ghosts in the landscape

Despite all the effort that has gone into building and the maintaining that stone wall …

This is the clapper bridge over the North Teign river

The point where the Teign really starts to descent from the moor

Just around the corner is Scorhill – a brilliant stone circle

Again the Legendary Dartmoor website throws some light onto the many theories, myths and legends surrounding Scorhill – see here – the adder anecdote is very interesting……

Ponies 2
And finally back to Kestor looking south over Fernworthy Forest

Ponies 1
With Thornworthy Tor in the foreground

A great day out – although the temperature was low there wasn’t much of a wind so fortunately it didn’t fell cold.



3 thoughts on “Kestor and Scorhill

  1. Rachel Hewitt in “Map of a Nation: A Biography of the Ordnance Survey” gives a good account of why place-names are not unique, and of the difficulties that OS had in selecting one name from the many available.
    The most academic discussion of place-names is “Place-names of Devon” from the English Place Name Society. Even here, they can only make a guess based on the balance of probabilities, and so are not always “correct”. Unfortunately they don’t mention Kes Tor.
    The best researcher on Dartmoor was William Crossing, who suggests (Guide, p258, S. Ex. 55) that the origin may be Kist (as in kistvaen, cist etc), ie a chest, which is not inappropriate, and certainly suggest the form of the tor, which does look like a chest perched on top of a hill.
    This doesn’t preclude other versions of the name, or other derivations (eg Cat’s Tor), but I would want to see further evidence before I changed my allegiance from Crossing

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