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Rough Tor

Rocky Outcrop

<b>Rough Tor</b>Posted by thesweetcheatImage © A. Brookes (19.6.2015)
A prominent rocky hill, the second highest point on Bodmin Moor. Encircled by a stone-built tor enclosure and surrounded by numerous prehistoric settlement sites, as well as the stone circles of Stannon, Louden and Fernacre.
Nearest Town:Hallworthy (8km NNE)
OS Ref (GB):   SX146809 / Sheet: 200
Latitude:50° 35' 51.83" N
Longitude:   4° 37' 12.05" W



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Fieldnotes

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If you're up here, find it. It's strange, weathered boulder with a depression and notch eroded/carved? Right at the top of the northern peak of Rough Tor, just along from the war memorial plaque with the dragon on it. Hob Posted by Hob
7th October 2003ce
Edited 1st October 2012ce

In a stroke of genius I booked another week in Cornwall for the week the clocks change, and a week of stunning weather! It is early April and Bodmin Moor is tinder dry. Just before I arrived there had been several small fires in North Cornwall nd the day I left there was a large gorse fire at the other end of Cornwall (on the Lizard peninsula).

I stopped off in Dartmoor on the way, the sun was blazing and Fernworthy forest was so peaceful. Although it’s usually only the circle that is talked about Fernworthy is one of these ‘complexs’ with a stone circle , two cairns and cairn circles, two stone rows, and possible others. I was so taken in that I began to think I was an archaeologist for a day and soon I will have to unleash diagrams onto this fantastic TMA site! The south side of the forest also has a stone row. And a brisk walk onto the moor brings you to the Greywethers, a restored and stunning double circle. I also tried to find the Heath Stone on the way out. Does visiting ancient sites get much better than today?

On Sunday I went to the St Breock Downs area, checking out the St Breock Wind Farm Barrow, the colossal Men Gurta Menhir, and peering at the St. Breock Downs Menhir. I then moved south to the China Clay country (sounds like a theme park) to find the moved Menevagar / Roche Longstone and the huge Hensbarrow - this is the highest natural point in the area and the views back across the valley are stunning, with the St Breock Downs wind farm clearly visible. However, if you ignore the nice bit of the view you could just as easily think you are sitting on the moon as the clay works surround you. To round off a pretty lazy day I visited the two sites closest to where I was staying – Headon Barrow and Warbstow Bury, the later being quite stunning and the best-preserved hill slope fort in Cornwall.

On Monday I pleasured myself (steady on!) with a trip to the St.Austell Brewery - http://www.staustellbrewery.co.uk - and onto Mevagissey for sarnies on the harbour. I had forgotten my maps so instead of heading off for some yomping on Bodmin Moor I had to pull Plan B out, which was a visit to The County Museum in Truro - http://www.royalcornwallmuseum.org.uk - I knew that the famed cup marked stone from the Tregiffian Burial Chamber was there, as was a copy of the Rillaton Cup, and other things. There is a huge amount to see and as they are a registered charity it is £4 well spent (and please fill out a Gift Aid form, so they can reclaim your tax!)

Tuesday led me on a huge barrow hunt, including the massive Tich Barrow, one of the Starapark Barrows, the Advent Triple Barrow (a rarity), and the Crowdy Reservoir Barrow and then several wind swept hours in the Roughtor area, including the Showery Tor ring cairn and cheesewring, and the Showery Tor Embanked Avenue, the Showery Tor Downs Cairn, Roughtor Slopes Cairn and three possible standing stones in the area. In an action packed day I also went to the fascinating King Arthur’s Hall, , the nearby King Arthur's Downs Stone Circles, the Casehill Cairn, and explored around the area; expect a diagram soon! On the way home I had a quick stop at Helsbury Castle.

Like it or loathe it I thought The Museum of Witchcraft - http://www.museumofwitchcraft.com - was worth a visit so the next day I went to see it in Boscastle’s picturesque harbour. I was glad to see the Museum asking people not to have fires, leave rubbish or ‘inappropriate offerings’ at ancient sites. Later I visited three great cliff castle’s close by – Willabury Cliff Castle (Boscastle) plus the fascinating ‘stitch’ system of agriculture on Forrabury Common, Willabury Cliff Castle (Tintagel), and Tintagel itself. I also saw the curious Rocky Valley Rock Carvings but I’m even less convinced now. I had a quick search for Ugworthy Barrows (actually over the border in Devon) and the rare Woolley Long Barrow.

I really don’t seem to have got the hang of these ‘holidays’ have I? Not much resting going on, so I only went out on the moors late on Thursday, and spent some of Friday re-reading one of favourite books on the beach at Crackington Haven (‘Life and Times of Michael K’ by J.M.Coetzee if anyone is interested).

So several hours on Thursday were spent on Fox Tor & East Moor and in the Leskernick area of Bodmin Moor. Two totally different environments in one way (the former gorsey and brown, the later green but scarred and pitted like the moon) separated by the A30 but both full of ancient sites, and continued finds. East Moor includes the Fox Tor Stone Row (apparently), the East Moor Stone Row, and possible Menhir / Stone setting, and the Nine Stones of Altarnun. The Leskernick area is still being explored and new things still being found. My few hours included Leskernick Stone Row, a cairn near the stone row, Leskernick Stone Circel (Northern), Leskernick Stone Circle (South), the Leskernick ‘Quoit’, the Cairns on the summit of The Beacon, and a possible Kerbed Cairn and Barrow Cemetery on The Beacon
pure joy Posted by pure joy
8th April 2003ce

Mellow out! This is a day to be enjoyed! A not-too-bad stroll up to the roof of the moors and-woah! Too much to describe, you just have to go there and be blown away in more ways than one. Spend a little time in the past as kings looking down to the green and remnants of ancient places. Everywhere I went in Cornwall thereafter I could see the tor and be reminded how lowly I was. Awesome... Posted by thebaz
14th July 2002ce

Oh, this place of extreme weather,it seems that Rough Tor does not want to be visited on this day,21/03/02, as we approached from the car park the moor was clear.We started to climb then the mist decended with avengance, but with compass and O/S map this was not a problem, but I would`nt recommend it, my girlfriend has complete faith in me but she got a little scared. Finally we got to the top and could`nt see for more than 20 feet in front of us but it was worth it, we clapped our eyes on the rocking stone and all we could do was stand in ore, its a monster. We spent only 10 minutes in its company(due to to mist getting thicker)before heading back to the car. This is one place that has to be visited if you do no other. But we highly recommend the chessewring as well, happy hunting all. Posted by finbar
24th March 2002ce
Edited 9th August 2013ce

Don't like to be fussy but it is pronounced row (as in argument).

To get to Roughtor drive to Camelford and head SE, a single track road takes you out to a car park(look out for the big dipper !!) and from ther it is a good walk up to the tor. On your way you will pass many hut circles, head for the left end of the tor as it is easier to ascend the top from there.

Don't miss the Charlotte Drymond memorial stone to the right of the ford just below the carpark. A modern day menhir.
Mr Hamhead Posted by Mr Hamhead
16th December 2001ce

this is pronoucned "ro-aw" Tor in case you are asking for directions, I used to come here as a child with my hippy pairents.
Theres a few spots on the top of the Tor that are bucket shaped, I don't know how, I doubt weathering or glacial movements could cause such a thing, but if you dont mind sitting on some litchen, they make excellent seats!

Theres no hotels or such like around this area, its dead on Bodmin Moor. There is a car park.

At the top is a little black post, placed by OS I think.

I'm going from memory here, as I live on the other side of the planet these days, but Roaw Tor is certainly a special place, when the wind kicks up on an autumns evening, looking up at the steadily brightening stars, you can feel like youre the only thing alive, on this barren outcrop of granite.
Posted by DADAKO
31st August 2001ce

Folklore

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How to Become a Witch
Touch a Logan stone nine times at midnight, and any woman will become a witch.

Source: Robert Hunt, Popular Romances of the West of England; or, The Drolls, Traditions, and Superstitions of Old Cornwall (London: John Camden Hotten, 1871), p. 321.

http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/monuments.html#scott
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
28th March 2006ce
Edited 1st October 2012ce