Cornwood, Stalldown Barrow and Rook Tor

This is another walk, after a short drive which has inched me slightly further east. The start point was within a mile of the last starting point however the views were very different, gone were the clay works (until I got round to Rook Tor), replaced by open moorland. The weather started a bit damp, with light rain falling and cloud down on the tops. However I was confident that the weather would improve as it said it would in the reports. As it was on Stalldown Barrow I could have walked in a t shirt in the sunshine, it felt that warm. This was a good walk which I hadn’t done before, well not all in one go, and as a result I forgot I had to cross the River Yealm!! Which after the rain wasn’t easy, however as I dropped down from Stalldown I saw another walker who had crossed, so I was confident that I just needed to find the right spot, as it was I ended up pretty much under the Yealm Waterfall before I found a couple of easy boulders. The rest of the walk is fairly simple, however at the end I wanted to have a proper look at Rook Tor, the more decent outcrops. I had a pretty good look around and then found them on a track out from West Rook Gate. Shame the fine pub in Cornwood wasn’t open to finish a good walk in this south western area of the moor but then again we have some light at the end of this tunnel

Start – Lee Moor parking

Route – Cornwood – Wisdome Bridge – New Waste – Stalldown Barrow – Stalldown Stone Row – Yealm Waterfall – Penn Moor – High House Waste – Rook Tor – West Rook Gate – Rook – Lee Moor parking

Distance – 7.5 miles    Start time – 10.45am    Time taken – 4hrs Highest Point – Stalldown Barrow 413 metres

Weather – Bit of rain to start then cleared to some surprising warm sunshine and then cloud to finish

© Crown copyright 2021 Ordnance Survey FL 2021 SF
The car park just northwest of Cornwood, I’m looking towards Stalldown Barrow which is cloaked in cloud as I set off in a slight drizzle, by the time I got there the weather had changed completely.
I’m not going that far!
The pub in Cornwood is a good one, and I’m turning left here and heading towards Wisdome Bridge
The cross in Cornwood
There had been plenty of rain in the preceding 48 hours and it was still just about falling as I look to a murky Penn Beacon, looking misty back right, and one of the china clay piles over on the left
Wisdome Bridge (aka Vicarage Bridge) and the river Yealm. The penny still hadn’t dropped that I would need to cross this river during this walk
Snowdrops dripping raindrops
Penn Beacon was clagged up as well as I headed towards New Waste. If you look closely next to the hedge on the right you can see the white water of the Yealm Waterfall. I noticed it but still didn’t twig!!
Tree tunnel on the way to New Waste
Now I remember 5 years ago or more when you used to be able to park up here, I haven’t been this way for a long time now but I was aware that a gate had been installed. The sign on the right basically says to ensure whoever has the keys to open said gate (probably the South West Water team), locks it afterwards as people will try to park the other side and then get stuck as the SWW worker leaves and locks up again. A walker however can pass without incident. The small reservoir is at the end of the track and behind is Stalldown Barrow.
On Stalldown Barrow now and having a brew stop. Its brightening nicely to the south. The clump of trees a top the green field in the distance is Hanger Down Clump
A bit further east is Butterdon Hill and Western Beacon
The stone row on Stalldown Barrow is probably the best looking stone row, the views are superb and the stones themselves are mostly upright and all pretty big. The cairn circle here bottom left is about 9/10ths of the way up the row and South Hams stretches to the sea beyond. The sun is also shining which is a bonus
Turning around is the wriggling River Erme, and in the way off distance a black bump which is Redlake. The sun and clouds form some nice shapes on the slopes of Langcombe Hill
I set off for Dendles Waste and the penny dropped that I needed to cross the River Yealm. I was a little worried after seeing the river lower down and the amount of rain we’d had!! I look back at Three Barrows with the rising Stalldown Barrow up to my right
Looking the other way I zoom in on Plymouth Sound
The Yealm Waterfall, not much to it really but it was flowing pretty fast. At could see another walker heading up the hill to the right having crossed, I felt a bit more confident that I’d also find a way
Across the Yealm, pretty much at the foot of the waterfalls, I could have crossed a couple of times further downstream, but they required 4 or 5 rock jumps and I found one higher up that was basically two big boulders and an easier crossing. Looking out along the Yealm on its way to South Hams
Yealm Waterfall, Yealm Rocks are just up to my left, I didn’t bother going over to them this time
This bit of wall along Dendles Waste and High House Waste always makes me giggle. The builders must have been drunk
Furthest left is Western Beacon and Butterdon Hill, with South Hams and the green fields to the right
High House Waste, looked after by the Dartmoor Preservation Association
I’ve rounded the end of the wall enclosing the Waste and look again across South Hams. Butterdon Hill and Western Beacon are now joined by Piles Hill furthest left.
I walk along the front of Penn Beacon and reach the clitter which is marked on the OS maps as Rook Tor. However the guys from Tors of Dartmoor had seen a bigger outcrop down the hill so I went off to have a look around. The clay workings from the walk a couple of weeks ago (here) are now in view
I jumped a gate into a field and headed first into the woods, lots and lots of large boulders here, but nothing like the outcrop I wanted
This is a bit better but not quite, I headed back over a gate and joined the track which leads to West Rook Gate
There were a few clumps of trees with outcrops under and around them, and either side of the path the rocks were pretty big and far better than those up the hill
Just off the track was this small looking quarry. the face at the far end could very well have had the large tor above it, as marked on the OS maps
About 100 yards from West rook Gate there were some good outcrops that surely mark Rook Tor, the quarry is another 50 metres further on. This for me is the spot. Happy I headed through West Rook Gate and down the road
The Delamore Estate has created a nice circular that takes you from West Rook Gate down the road, through woods to Quick Bridge, up the road I walked a fortnight ago to Cholwichtown Farm and then through the woods back to West Rook Gate and this sign. A nice walk
The cows are a feeding, all in a line
Same photo as the first one at the top of this post. Stalldown is all clear and the weather had turned out pretty good, the sun in the middle of the walk was very warm and hints to things to come, maybe with the grand opening this spring we might get a repeat of the weather we had last year, and hopefully not a repeat of the lockdown rules!! Roll on the opening!!!

8 thoughts on “Cornwood, Stalldown Barrow and Rook Tor

    • Was good to finally get back to Rook Tor and the proper bits, plus I hadn’t been to New Waste for a long while. Your right about the car parks, you have to be early to get the East Rook Gate car spot!!

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    • Yeah Monday was good down here as well, we got lucky with the weather clearing around 11.30am so giving me most of the day in the dry, the sun was a real bonus, and at one point I was just in a long sleeved baselayer, walking out of the wind and in the sun in February!!

      Liked by 1 person

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