Shilstone Tor

Close to many Bronze Age hut circles

Shilstone Tor is a tiny tor!

Not much more than a rocky outcrop really, but it has its own magical qualities as the views are outstanding and it’s very close to many Bronze Age hut circles.

Shilstone Tor is located not far from Throwleigh on the northern slopes of Dartmoor National Park. There’s a very handy (also tiny) car park beside the road and a short walk up to the tor itself immediately gives you panoramic views, taking in Kes Tor, Cosdon Beacon, and even Haytor in the very far distance.

The now internationally famous Shilstone Rocks Dartmoor Pony Stud in Widecombe-in-the-Moor takes its name from this little tor. The stud originated in Throwleigh, where stud founder Elizabeth Newbolt-Young’s children used to enjoy playing on the tor which they named Rocks. When they all moved to Chittleford Farm in 1963 the name went with them.

During 2021 and 2022, the Dartmoor Youth Rangers and local conservation volunteers, ably led by Dartmoor National Park Ranger Ian Brooker worked hard to clear bracken and gorse from the ancient hut circles in the vicinity of the tor, one of which is right next to the road.

Ian also heads up the long running conservation group StOCs (Sticklepath and Okehampton Conservation) who continue the ongoing work to keep the ancient settlements clear, with the help of the local Dartmoor Hill Farmers who have dropped mineral licks to encourage the cattle to keep coming back to the locations, trampling gorse and bracken down which all helps to keep the area accessible.

From Shilstone Tor it’s a fairly straightforward walk across the moor to enjoy a wild swim in Shilley Pool, and then on up to the cairn at the top of Cosdon Beacon. Just down the road from Shilstone Tor, you’ll be able to join the ancient tracks of Mariner’s Way which runs all the way from Dartmouth to Bideford.

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