Brent Tor is one of the most impressive rock outcrops in Dartmoor. With St Michael’s Church at its top, it makes a distinctive and famous silhouette on the Dartmoor skyline.
The tor is unusual as it is one of the few on Dartmoor not to be made of granite. In fact, it is formed from basaltic lava which flowed some 350 million years ago into a shallow sea that covered the area during the Lower Carboniferous and Devonian periods. As the lavas flowed out into the sea some solidified into globular masses known as pillow lavas. Others were broken up by explosive contact with the sea water.
This lava formed a mound on the sea floor which was then eroded by sea currents with the resulting debris being washed down the slopes of the mound. Debris of this nature can still be seen loose on the southern slopes of the tor.