Rough Tor

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Coordinates: 50°35′47″N 4°37′25″W / 50.59639°N 4.62361°W / 50.59639; -4.62361

Rough Tor seen from the west
Iron Age remains, Rough Tor.
43rd Wessex Division Memorial

Rough Tor (/ˈrtər/ ROW-ter), or Roughtor, is a tor on Bodmin Moor, Cornwall. The site is composed of the tor summit and logan stone, a neolithic tor enclosure, a large number of Bronze Age hut circles, and some contemporary monuments.

Geography[edit]

Rough Tor is located in Bodmin Moor, Cornwall. It is approximately one mile northwest of Brown Willy, Cornwall's highest point. Its summit is 1313 ft (400m) above mean sea level, making it the second highest point in Cornwall. Both hills are in the civil parish of St Breward, and near the town of Camelford. The De Lank River rises in the vicinity and flows between the two hills. Rough Tor and Little Rough Tor are twin summits of a prominent ridge of granite, though there are actually 3 tors at the site: Showery Tor, Little Rough Tor, and Rough Tor.[1] The summit is also the site of a Logan Rock, which gently rocks back and forth when pressed. Crowdy Reservoir and the Lowermoor Water Treatment Works are not far away from the hill.

Hikes to the summit and to neighbouring Brown Willy are popular, though the walk may be strenuous; a road provides easy access to a car park, which is about a mile and a half from the summit.

History[edit]

From the summit of Rough Tor, many signs of settlements and field systems are visible, indicating that it was a well populated area in former times.

Neolithic[edit]

The summit of Rough Tor once had a neolithic tor enclosure. The summit is encircled by a series of rough stone walls that align with natural stone outcroppings on the tor. The walls would have originally completely encircled the tor. The walls would have had numerous stone lined openings. In the interior of the circle there are remains of terraces leveled into the slopes, which archaeologists believe formed the foundations of circular wooden houses.[2] There are also cleared areas near the terraces that have been garden plots.

Bronze Age[edit]

The Rough Tor enclosure is located in an area containing a remarkable concentration of upstanding monuments and other Bronze Age sites, such as Fernacre stone circle, which is only 200 meters from the site. Stannon stone circle is also located nearby, and there are numerous cairns and burial monuments in the vicinity.

On the southern slopes of Rough Tor, there are the remains of a large number of stone hut circles, set around three or four enclosures that may have held stock. There are also the remains of a large field systems, which is partially overlain with a medieval field system. The purpose of this field system has been debated, with historians disagreeing as to whether the fields were used for cereals or for stock.[3]

Medieval[edit]

The summit of the tor was once the site of a medieval chapel, which was built into the side of one of the cairns, and was dedicated to St. Michael. The chapel was recorded in the 14th century, and is the only known hilltop chapel in Bodmin Moor. As it overlooks an ancient trackway across the moor, it may have served as a guide for travellers. There are remains of a second medieval building at the bottom of the summit, and a beacon may have been maintained here or at the summit by a hermit.[4]

A medieval field system based on straight lines overlays the Bronze Age field system at Rough Tor, and several medieval artifacts have been found in the area, such as the base for a stone cross, and a small stone cross.[5]

Contemporary[edit]

A memorial stands below Rough Tor, commemorating the men of the 43rd (Wessex) Division who lost their lives in the second World War. The Memorial reads:

ROUGH TOR ON WHICH THIS
MEMORIAL IS PLACED HAS
BEEN GIVEN TO THE NATION
IN MEMORY OF THOSE WHO
LOST THEIR LIVES WHILE
SERVING IN THE 43RD (WESSEX)
DIVISION IN THE NORTH-WEST
EUROPEAN CAMPAIGN 1944/5

There is also a memorial to Charlotte Dymond, who was murdered on the Tor in 1884.[6]

In a programme shown in 2007 Channel 4's Time Team investigated a 500 metre cairn and the site of a Bronze Age village on the slopes of Rough Tor.[7]

There is also a Rough Tor on Dartmoor in Devon, three miles west of Postbridge.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bednobs Bed and Breakfast. "Rough Tor". 
  2. ^ "Rough Tor". 
  3. ^ "Rough Tor Settlement (South)". 
  4. ^ "Rough Tor". 
  5. ^ "Rough Tor Settlement". 
  6. ^ "Bednobs and Breakfast Rough Tor". 
  7. ^ "Bodmin Moor, Cornwall". Channel 4: Time Team. 8 April 2007. Retrieved 2009-11-09. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Rough Tor at Wikimedia Commons