This store requires javascript to be enabled for some features to work correctly.

Tor Names of Yesteryear

Tor Names of Yesteryear

A tor is a rocky outcrop. It's not necessarily the peak of a hill, but often it is. Usually, the name of the tor becomes synonymous with the name of the hill. You can, however, have multiple tors on one hill.

Shortly before moving to Dartmoor, I read Quartz and Feldspar by Matthew Kelly. It introduced me to the controversies that make this place weird and wonderful, and got me absolutely hooked on books about Dartmoor. From major publishers, to the world's sweetest self-published pamphlets, I'm an absolute sucker for it.

The more I read, the more I realised the official ordnance survey maps are full of mistakes. In some cases, it's because the people responsible for reporting the names of places back to headquarters didn't actually visit the places--they relied on second and third-hand information to get the names. In other cases, it's guessed the mapmakers simply didn't understand the Devonian dialect and fudged the words.

We are exploring how to revive some of these older names in our latest series. We're using our collection of old books, alongside modern references from Josephine Collingwood (gorgeous photos from a real life geologist) and the Tors of Dartmoor online database to pair the old and new.

Each poster is about the size of a postcard. It includes the Devonian name (in wood type), its OS grid coordinates, and the name currently associated with the tor on the OS map (the smaller words all use the same typeface as the OS maps).