Photographer's Note

Kestor Rock.
If a Dartmoor tor could reveal what it has seen down through the millennia then Kestor surely would have some stories to tell. Its rocky outcrops survey directly over an ancient landscape of ritual monuments and old stone huts. In previous centuries some early antiquarians believed that the tor was the central focus for druidical ceremonies. This soon made Kestor a 'honey spot' for the curious Victorian visitor who was in search of the lost ages of the moor. The rock or tor is located on Chagford Common and sits at an altitude of 1,382ft (421m).
But what started all the excitement? Well, in 1856 a local antiquarian called G. W. Omerod was doing some 'antiquarianing' on the tor/rock when he discovered a large rock basin on the summit. It hole had been filled in with peat and stones in a presumable effort to stop sheep from falling into it. When he cleared the hole out it was found to be the largest rock basin and Dartmoor and according to Worth (1988, pp.31 - 32) when empty it measured 6ft 8in wide, 8ft wide and 30in deep. Rock basins are a product of localised weathering and are formed when weak feldspar crystals are split by the frost along their cleavages. This loosens small fragments which are later blown away by the wind thus leaving a small hollow. The process continues and gradually the hollow expands outwards and downwards. Water fills the hollow and then freezes, upon thawing more fragments are eroded which once again are blown away by the wind. Over time the hollow widens and deepens and eventually a rock basin is formed.
It was about this time that, along with the other rock basins of the moor, they became attributable to the work of the druids. It was supposed that they had carved them out to act as a receptacle for sacred water and for catching the blood of human sacrifices.

With thanks to Tim Sandles. LB.

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Additional Photos by Leslie Bennett (williewhistler) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1247 W: 41 N: 2372] (16606)
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