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Hound Tor

 
Address
Northeast of Widecombe in the Moor, off B3387
Dartmoor

www.legendarydartmoor.co.uk
 
 
 
 

Long regarded as an area of mystery and legend, Dartmoor holds a particular place the English national psyche. It features the richest examples of prehistoric remains in the United Kingdom, with some discoveries dating back to the late Neolithic and early Bronze ages - roughly around 3500BC.

Covering approximately 358 square miles, the landscape is rugged and bleakly beautiful, dotted with dramatic hilltop granite outcroppings known as Tors, the bedrock breaking through the ground.

Among the most famous of these is Hound Tor. It is frequently stated as one of the principal inspirations for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle while he was writing The Hound of the Baskervilles, tying with local legends of spectral packs of dogs, and even a great black hound. The name for the formation comes from the myth of a huntsman named Bowerman, who enraged a witch. Seeking revenge upon him she appeared as a hare, and when he gave chase with his hunting dogs transformed him into a pile of standing rocks known as Bowerman's Nose. His pack of hounds, in closer pursuit of the witch, were also turned to stone against the hillside - becoming Hound Tor.

Thanks to all this, the use of Hound Tor in The Hounds of Baskerville is apt and essential, not only for its mythic ambience but as a crucial reflection of the adaptation. The most prominent modern use of Dartmoor is by the British Ministry of Defence as a weapon testing range, though while Sherlock and John can see the fictitious Baskerville testing facility from their vantage point on the Tor, it is actually composited into the scene as a visual effect. The nearest permanent military facility to Hound Tor is the Okehampton Camp, 20 miles away by road to the north west. The MoD also use almost 42 square miles of Dartmoor for live fire exercises throughout the year, though being a national park, when these exercises are not occurring the public are allowed free access.

 

Episodes Hound Tor has appeared in

 
The Hounds of Baskerville (Episode 2, Series 2)

Leaving Widecombe in the Moor, head east on the B3387, before taking the third left junction you encounter - an extremely sharp turning. Head north along the road, with Hound Tor visible throughout on your right hand side. Eventually after just over 1.6 miles, you will find car parking directly opposite the Tor.

 

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