Wednesday, May 10

Dartmoor Tors 5/5/23 - Brent Tor & Church

Often, whilst I was high on Dartmoor's western tops, I could see a distant church sat alone on a hill. 

Intrigued, a little research showed it to be St Michael de Rupe, an iconic 12th century church perched on top of Brent Tor (470 804) near Mary Tavy. 

Iconic is right - a pretty unique sight..... and site.

Annoyingly it is also just off the OS Dartmoor Explorer map, so some on-line detective work was required to identify the precise location, but it is amazingly easy to access. 

A small car park at the foot of the tor leads through a stile, meanders around the tor base and up onto the tor itself. 

A quick look around the inside of the church. A wander around the site to take in the excellent views, and back to the car.

A 10-15 minute walk, and excellent views.

The car park is quite small, and clearly a hot spot for car thefts - so beware. On the plus side there is a set of public toilets there - always welcome when travelling around.

Some fun facts

1. It is the highest church on Dartmoor.

2. The car park visitor information board suggests that all the high-up churches on Dartmoor are called St Michaels. (A noticeable example being the one at Princetown)

3. But there may be a more ancient reason to do with the St Michael's Ley Line.

Whatever the reason, it is a remarkable place to visit. 

To wonder at the effort involved to construct such a solid building in such an inhospitable location. 

And to have it still standing nearly 900 years later.

Only churchyard I've ever visited where the crosses are supported by stakes & tension wires - must be a great place in a gale.

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