Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for DARTMOOR

DARTMOOR, an upland tract in Devon, situated between Okehampton on the north, Moreton-Hampstead on the north-east, Ashburton on the south-east, and Tavistock on the south-west. Its length, north and south, is 22 miles; its breadth, about 20 miles; its area, about 130, 000 acres; and its mean elevation, about 1, 700 feet. The greater part of it was afforested by King John, under the name of Dartmoor Forest; given by Henry III. to his brother Richard, Earl of Cornwall; and annexed, in the time of Edward III., to the Duchy of Cornwall. It consists entirely of granite; has a wildly hilly, rugged, shattered surface; and embosoms a great morass, whence issue the rivers Dart, Teign, Tavy, and Taw. Multitudes of its summits are rocky peaks, provincially called tors; many of them fantastically outlined, looking like ruined castles or uncouth animal forms; four of them respectively 2, 050, 1, 792, 1, 549, and 1, 203 feet high, and no fewer than 150 mentioned by name in a note to Carrington's poem of "Dartmoor." Micaceous iron ore and stream tin occur; copper and tin mines are worked; and peat fuel is dug. The antiquities and the natural history are extensive and interesting; and have been described in Rowe's "Perambulation of Dartmoor" published in 1848. A large war-prison was built in 1808, on an elevated spot under Tor Royal; converted afterwards into a factory for naphtha, ammonia, and other products from the bogs; and changed subsequently into a place for convicts.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "an upland tract"   (ADL Feature Type: "locations")
Administrative units: Devon AncC
Place: Dartmoor

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