<< Our Photo Pages >> Brent Tor - Hillfort in England in Devon

Submitted by h_fenton on Tuesday, 28 December 2010  Page Views: 12580

Iron Age and Later PrehistorySite Name: Brent Tor Alternative Name: Brentor
Country: England County: Devon Type: Hillfort
Nearest Town: Tavistock  Nearest Village: North Brentor
Map Ref: SX4709780392
Latitude: 50.603162N  Longitude: 4.162067W
Condition:
5Perfect
4Almost Perfect
3Reasonable but with some damage
2Ruined but still recognisable as an ancient site
1Pretty much destroyed, possibly visible as crop marks
0No data.
-1Completely destroyed
no data Ambience:
5Superb
4Good
3Ordinary
2Not Good
1Awful
0No data.
5 Access:
5Can be driven to, probably with disabled access
4Short walk on a footpath
3Requiring a bit more of a walk
2A long walk
1In the middle of nowhere, a nightmare to find
0No data.
4 Accuracy:
5co-ordinates taken by GPS or official recorded co-ordinates
4co-ordinates scaled from a detailed map
3co-ordinates scaled from a bad map
2co-ordinates of the nearest village
1co-ordinates of the nearest town
0no data
5

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I have visited· I would like to visit

PAB would like to visit

lucasn visited on 6th Apr 2017 - their rating: Cond: 5 Amb: 5 Access: 4

graemefield visited on 8th Aug 2014 - their rating: Cond: 3 Amb: 4 Access: 4

h_fenton visited on 8th Apr 2010 - their rating: Amb: 5 Access: 4 I was out on Brent Tor just before 7am as the sun rose from the clouds that shrouded Dartmoor to the east, the light gently warming the Devon landscape and the dewy grass glistening beneath my feet. Mist hung in some of the valleys. It was a wonderful sport to just stop and watch the world slowly waking up, the sound of dogs barking in a distant farmyard reached my lofty perch through seemingly very still air. I looked in the church which sits on the summit there was a stained glass window depicting St Michael at the east end with the sun directly behind making it glow. Back outside the church there was the merest murmur of some wind, I carefully set my kite up, adjusting it to catch the most wind possible. the fabric of the kite whispered that there was just enough wind so I moved out of the churchyard and launched the kite. it slowly rose into the air with only a very small pull on the line. I attached the camera to the kite line and while there was enough wind to lift the kite there was only enough to maintain the height of the camera. I ran a little way down the hill trying to get the camera to lift higher, it quickly returned to the ground. returning to the launch spot I relaunched the kite and flew it as close to the church as was feasible attached the camera, set the camera running. With a little faith I ran down the hill letting the kite line roll off the reel as I went, over the ramparts slipping down the outer sides then continuing down the field - now gently pulling the line, pulling the kite higher and the camera into the air and away from the hill. Slowly the kite and camera came back towards me, I caught he camera, then landed the kite. so impressed with some of the photos I returned to the church and put most of the money I had on me into the collection box. I flew again on the south side of the church, the wind was still slack, running and walking was again needed to maintain the kite in the air. After all the kite flying it, the tor was still a wonderful spot just sit or stand and contemplate and view the landscape, I whiled away a few hours here until the ambience was interrupted by other visitors and their dogs.

cazzyjane have visited here

Average ratings for this site from all visit loggers: Condition: 4 Ambience: 4.67 Access: 4

Brent Tor
Brent Tor submitted by h_fenton : Brent Tor viewed looking up the hill from the north, you can see the rampart just below the steeper part of the hill. 8 April 2010 (Vote or comment on this photo)
Hillfort in Devon. Brent Tor is a conical shaped hill rising to a height of 330 metres above sea level. The hill is prominent with in its local landscape and rises steeply about 50 metres from its surrounding landscape.

The west side of Brent Tor is steep and rocky with a few small cliffs. The hill was formed during the Lower Carboniferous period from submarine Balsatic lavas and is of great interest to geologists.

Close to the base of the hill is a rampart up to 5 metres high (outside measurement) that goes part of the way around the hill (North and North East sides), it has been suggested that the rampart was never completed but does represent a rampart belonging to an Iron Age Fort or enclosure. Recent survey work by Greeves (1996) and Newman (2003) has revealed further internal earthworks such as linear banks and also smaller features which Greeves has interpreted as the remains of buildings, which he speculates could be early Medieval - although it is fair to say that there is no dating evidence either historical or archaeological to support this.

On the summit of Brent Tor is a small church, built around 1130, rebuilt in the 13th Century and the tower was either added or rebuilt in the 15th Century. A few legends try to tell the story of how the church was built on top of the hill. The legends mostly involve the Devil.

Access: to the north west of the hill at grid reference: SX 468 805 there is a public car park with toilets, a path crosses the road from the car park and then heads up the hill. The path on the lower part of the hill may be muddy at times, cattle and sheep are kept in the field. Care needs to be taken on the steep slopes of Brent Tor as they can be slippy in wet conditions.

Geology see: www.devon.gov.uk/geo-brent-tor.pdf

The main source used for the archaeological aspects of the above description was the Legendary Dartmoor website: www.legendarydartmoor.co.uk/brentor.htm (Accessed: 28 December 2010).
English Heritage: www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=438139

Also see:
Greeves, T. 1999 Church, Parish and Boundary, The Dartmoor Magazine Vol. 57, Quay Publications, Brixham.
Greeves, T. 2003 Was Brentor a Dark Age Centre, The Dartmoor Magazine, Quay Publications, Brixham.
Newman, P. 2003 Brentor: An Earthwork Site on Western Dartmoor, English Heritage, Swindon

Update August 2019: This hill fort is featured on Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks (PDW) - see their entry for the Brent Tor Fort and is scheduled as Historic England List ID 1003199 (Earthworks on Brent Tor). The Devon & Dartmoor HER also includes information about the Tor and related monuments. See MDV1669 (Hillfort at Brent Tor).
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Brent Tor
Brent Tor submitted by h_fenton : The Church of St Michael de Rupe sits high on the summit of Brent Tor overlooking the surrounding landscape. This may have been an important location before the church was even built. Viewed from the north. Kite Aerial Photograph 8 April 2010 (Vote or comment on this photo)

Brent Tor
Brent Tor submitted by h_fenton : The Church of St Michael de Rupe, on the summit of Brent Tor looking in a roughly north westerly direction, here you can see how steep parts of the western slopes of the hill are. Kite Aerial Photograph 8 April 2010 (2 comments - Vote or comment on this photo)

Brent Tor
Brent Tor submitted by cromagnonman : Boxing Day morning (2 comments - Vote or comment on this photo)

Brent Tor
Brent Tor submitted by h_fenton : Brent Tor, viewed from the North. The rampart of an Iron Age hill fort can be seen on the lower slopes, also to the right of the photo are the banks of a possible entrance. Rising up the hill there are further earthworks, some of which appear to form small enclosures. The Church of St Michael de Rupe sits high on the summit of Brent Tor overlooking the surrounding landscape. This may ... (1 comment - Vote or comment on this photo)

Brent Tor
Brent Tor submitted by h_fenton : Brent Tor at sunset, viewed from the western edge of Dartmoor near Cudlipptown. 7 April 2010 (Vote or comment on this photo)

Brent Tor
Brent Tor submitted by AngieLake : St Michael de Rupe viewed through the gateway of the car park. Nov 2010. (4 comments)

Brent Tor
Brent Tor submitted by h_fenton : Looking North from Brent Tor down onto the earthwork rampart and a possible? entrance to the hillfort. 8 April 2010

Brent Tor
Brent Tor submitted by Postman : An church

Brent Tor
Brent Tor submitted by Bladup : Brent Tor.

Brent Tor
Brent Tor submitted by AngieLake : Looking down over the fence on the south side of the church, towards a rocky outcrop at approx SW of the tor.

Brent Tor
Brent Tor submitted by AngieLake : This was the view on the way down from the summit, showing some banks below. Must be looking towards east here, with Dartmoor dominating the view.

Brent Tor
Brent Tor submitted by AngieLake : Looking up towards the little church with the northern bank behind me. [Time, about noon on 6th November 2010.] This angle gives an idea of the ruggedness of the landscape. A narrow path around the other side of the church, via the outside of the tower, is fenced to stop you falling over a much more sheer drop.

Brent Tor
Brent Tor submitted by h_fenton : Brent Tor, some internal earthworks on the north side of the hill. 8 April 2010

Brent Tor
Brent Tor submitted by camperman : St Michaels church viewed through the simple entrance of the single bank facing east.

Brent Tor
Brent Tor submitted by camperman : A view from the north east showing the northern ramparts.

Brent Tor
Brent Tor submitted by camperman : Brent Tor and St Michaels church silhouetted against a blue Spring sky.

Brent Tor
Brent Tor submitted by camperman : An aerial view from the north west showing the ramparts to the north and east, the site uses the precipitous slopes to the west for natural defence.

Brent Tor
Brent Tor submitted by camperman : Brent Tor viewed from the east with the Iron Age ramparts to the foreground.

Brent Tor
Brent Tor submitted by Antonine : The view from the top looking SW ish at sunset 2008

Brent Tor
Brent Tor submitted by Antonine : 2008

Brent Tor
Brent Tor submitted by Antonine : Sunset, September 2008

Brent Tor
Brent Tor submitted by Antonine : 2008

Brent Tor
Brent Tor submitted by Antonine : Sunset, September 2008

Brent Tor
Brent Tor submitted by Antonine : 2008

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"Brent Tor" | Login/Create an Account | 5 News and Comments
  
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Brentor Church by lucasn on Thursday, 20 December 2018
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Brent Tor on Youtube by graemefield on Friday, 31 December 2010
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Brent Tor Street View by Andy B on Wednesday, 29 December 2010
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Re: Brent Tor by AngieLake on Wednesday, 29 December 2010
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Hamish:
Have just read your site visit report and must congratulate you on your skill and daring, running down over those steep slopes and their rugged terrain to maintain the height of the kite and camera! What a star!!!
(It IS a fantastic place, isn't it? Must be amazing to have it all to yourself.)
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Re: Brent Tor by PAB on Tuesday, 28 December 2010
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Thanks for the really helpful amount of detail on this site Hamish - great to have the links to sources too, and the geology factsheet one is particularly fascinating - I must see what other ones they produce as educational resources! As for the photos...a simply magnificent selection. Many thanks and please keep up the great work into 2011 - Happy New year.
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