Merrivale

About this route

Located on the west side of Dartmoor, this site is home to a number of impressive landforms that are defined by the underlying geology and demonstrate the effects of weathering during the Ice Age.  Dartmoor was never glaciated but still suffered the effects of the cold conditions, known as periglacial activity.  Solid ice sheets came as far south as the coast of North Devon.

Getting Around

On foot:  a public footpath runs through the site, please stay on the path.

By road: The site can be approached from car parks on the B3357 Tavistock to Princetown road.

By bus: There is a regular service between Tavistock and Merrivale and Princetown, see www.journeydevon.info for latest times.

Facilities
Car parking on the B3357 Tavistock to Princetown road.
Terrain
Uneven moorland terrain with steep climbs. Challenging in places.
Accessibility

Interesting information

The Merrivale area has a number of tors, including Roos Tor, Cox Tor and the Staple Tors.  These tors were exposed when the overlying material was eroded by periglacial activity.  They are surrounded by areas of clitter (rock debris) and blockfields (flat or gently sloping areas of frost-shattered rock), and boulder runs are also present.

The slopes around Cox Tor display a number of unusual earth hummocks. These vary considerably in size and shape but can be up to two meters in diameter and about 0.5 metres high. They are generally composed of a fine silty loam that, again, resulted from weathering during the Ice Age.

This area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest within Dartmoor National Park.

**Please note that this area of Dartmoor is common land to which there is free access on foot.  Merrivale Granite Quarry is private property. The land immediately to the north of the site is used by the MOD as a firing range and is therefore classed as a ‘Danger Area’, access is subject to restrictions – see www.dartmoor-ranges.co.uk

Disused bridge at Merrivale by Brett Sutherland

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