Belstone Tor

A fascinating history of burials and folklore

Belstone Tor overlooks — as its name suggests — the pretty village of Belstone on the northern edge of the moor. It’s the highest point in a chain of tors starting at Oke Tor, passing Knattaborough Tor, Higher Tor, Lower Tor and finishing at Tors End Tor. The views from here are panoramic in every direction and Belstone Tor gives arguably the best views north of any tor on Dartmoor, where the north Devon coast can be seen on a clear day. 

Walking from the village up the steep ascent to the tor leads you past the Nine Maidens Stone Circle. The Bronze Age stone circle acted as a burial chamber, although the cairn has been robbed and the cist destroyed. The area is steeped in folklore; the stones are said to have originally been nine maidens who were cast into stone and damned to dancing every noon for eternity as punishment for dancing on the Sabbath. The stone circle has inspired numerous poems and stories over the centuries.

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