Haytor or Hay Tor is a
granite toron Dartmoorin the English countyof Devon. It is at grid reference gbmappingsmall|SX757770. It is near the village of Haytor Valein the parish of Ilsington. Until the late 18th century Haytor was known as Itterdown, and should not be confused with older hundred of Heytor which covers the coastal area between the River Teignand River Dart. [Percy Russell, A History Of Torquay (Torquay: Devonshire Press Limited, 1960), 6]
Haytor (and the immediately adjacent Haytor Rocks) is a natural beauty spot popular with coach parties and walking groups. It is easily accessible by road. At a height of 457 metres and situated right on the eastern side of the moor, it provides excellent views of the coastline, the Teign estuary and the rolling countryside between, with the ridge of
. Haytor is also a climbing venue, especially popular with groups and schools due to its generally easy grades.
The granite here is of a particularly high quality and there are several disused quarries near the tor, the rock from which was transported by the
Haytor Granite Tramway(built in 1820) to the Stover Canal. [ [http://www.stovercanal.co.uk/History/history.htm History of the Stover Canal, Stover Canal Society] ] The tramway itself was built out of the granite it would carry, and due to its durable nature much of it remains visible today.
Granite from the quarry was also used in the construction of London Bridge which was built in 1831, however by 1962 the bridge was sinking and had to be replaced. The last rock was quarried here in 1919; it was used for the Exeter war memorial. [cite book | title=Devon's Century of Change| last=Harris| first=Helen| date=1998| pages=82| publisher=Peninsula Press| location=Newton Abbot| isbn=1-872640-47-8]
During the 19th Century steps were cut into one side on the Tor and a metal handrail fixed to allow tourists easier access to the summit. This was not entirely welcomed and in 1851, a Dr Coker complained about the rock steps that had been cut 'to enable the enervated and pinguitudinous scions of humanity of this wonderful nineteenth century to gain its summit.' It is possible that the steps were cut by John Yabsley, stone mason from Halwell.
Haytor Granite Tramway
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