Blackingstone Rock is a large tor situated in the eastern part of Dartmoor National Park. It exhibits many of the typical features of the Dartmoor Granite. Of particular note is that the coarse-grained granite contains very large crystals of feldspar. The term ‘feldspar’ encompasses a group of pale coloured rock-forming minerals; Blackingstone Rock has examples up to several centimetres long. In May, the surrounding area is carpeted in bluebells, making this a beautiful site to visit.
There are superb views from the tor, which sits more than 1,000 feet above sea level. However, please do not climb straight up to the top of the rock as this causes erosion and may damage rare lichens.
Parking / Access:
There is a car park with information display boards beside the road. There is access on foot to the open area around the rock; this is best accessed using the path which runs northwest around the tor and ascends gently.
The origins of Blackingstone Rock are wrapped in mystery with a local fable linking it to King Arthur. The story goes that King Arthur had a disagreement with the Devil one day. King Arthur took his stand on the hill where Blackingstone now stands and the Devil on the hill where nearby Hel Tor stands. The two decided to settle their disagreement with a game of quoits. As each quoit hit the ground, they turned into stone, resulting in the formation of the two tors.
Another legend associated with the tor, echoes with sadness and warning. The tale is about a woman who left her baby in the garden while she visited the nearby fair only to discover upon her return that the Ravens of Blackingstone Rock had murdered the poor child. The story was put to verse in 1899 by Sabine Baring Gould. Although a pair of Ravens did used to nest at the tor, they have long since vanished.
Image courtesy of Nilfanion [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]
Historic Monument Outdoor Place of Interest Walking Viewpoint
- Dog Friendly
- Family Friendly
- Free Entry
- Open All Year
- Historic Monument
- Place of Interest