Kes Tor is on Chagford common above the curiously named Batworthy and Boldventure homesteads
It overlooks the wild landscape of the North Moor and the ancient settlements of Shoveldown. It stands castle like and is visible from many approaches around the eastern edges of Dartmoor.
Once marked on the first edition OS map as Castor, it is often pronounced locally as Kezter.
It is a distinctive tor, not only for its magnificent views, but also for its huge summit rock basin, created by the weathering of weakened feldspar crystals. Before geological processes were fully understood, folklore described Rock basins as the work of Druids who required a repository as close to the heavens as possible for “holding sacred water and for catching the blood of human sacrifices”
In less distant times Kes Tor provided a grandstand view for local point to point races.
Today it’s a popular jaunt, often combined with Scorhill Stone Circle and the Teign-e-ver clapper bridge, along with the stone rows and standing stones. It is therefore a good afternoon’s exploration on a clear day, but in murky weather a map and compass should be carried as this is still open country.
We recommend learning at least basic navigations skills, there are lots of training courses available on and around Dartmoor.
HEIGHT ABOVE SEA LEVEL: 421m
PARKING: Limited space on the Batworthy road
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Early Summer’s evening to watch the superb sunsets
WALKING: A short sharp shock of 10 minutes uphill from the parking spot.
THINGS TO SEE: Rock basin, Stone rows, views over the North Moor.
NOTE: The sides of Kes Tor are steep and high so care is required.