A prehistoric tor (a rocky peak) that was created millions of years ago by an underwater volcanic eruption located in the South West of England.
Brent Tor is a unique example of a volcanic tor (as opposed to one created by natural rock formations or land changes) that offers incredible views of the surrounding moorland.
It also houses a 13th century church that still services the local area. People come to ascend the steep peak, enjoy the view and history of the unique church location.
About half an hour’s drive from the City of Plymouth, Devon. Located in Dartmoor. Map.
IN A CLASSIC example of British bloody-mindedness, there is a church perched on the top of Brent Tor. Dating back to the 13th century, the creation of the church is attributed to a local story about a wealthy merchant caught in a storm who promised to build a church in return for God sparing his life. In fact, early accounts seem to suggest that the tor was even harder to climb, a fate that was fun for churchgoers to face.
|The only way is up...
You can pick up a booklet on the history of the church and the tor itself for a small fee, all proceeds of which go towards the upkeep of the building, and I’d advise you get it. Some of the quotes are just fantastic and do a brilliant job of presenting the history of this obscenely hard-to-access church.When you do reach the summit, the church itself is beautifully understated. With stone walls and lovely stained glass, the church is usually quiet and you can take a moment to enjoy the peace of the place. You can also listen to the weather outside if it’s blustery, meaning that you enjoy the shelter all the more! Many visitors fill in the guest book and it’s lovely to see where people have come from to visit the Devil's Tor.
Of course, all the climbing has a huge reward and that comes in the view you can enjoy from the top of Brent Tor. On a good day you can see for miles around, seeing how expansive the moors really are. Even on a cloudy or rainy day you can still see the fields all around, and often the next load of visitors who are beginning their own journey to the church! There is a small cemetery around the building, which features some beautifully old fashioned gravestones.
|Tombs with a view.
Travelling from Exeter or Plymouth, you’ll want to follow signs for Mary Tavy. Upon entering, take the second left in the town (called Brentor road) and head towards the church on the hill.
The elevation of the location makes it very easy to spot once in Mary Tavy and the car park can be found on the road at its base, opposite the gated entrance to the site.
Access is only possible by car, with limited bus routes.
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