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This walk: 2016-5-15. Chub Tor, Chubb Tor. This page concentrates on the implications of the road sign below which is seen on the A386 road ...... it begs the question - is there a tor at Chub Tor?

The page is based on visits made in January and February 2016. 



The 1:25,000 Ordnance Survey map shows two labels, "Chub Tor" and "Chubb Tor", close together. A postcode search shows several local properties named after Chub Tor, these being West Chub Tor, Higher Chub Tor, Middle Chub Tor, Little Chub Tor, Chub Tor Cottage and Chub Tor or Chub Tor House (Chubbtor on old maps). Along the track running past Yeoland Consols Mine (disused) is Chubbtor Cottage. 


In view of all the places on Dartmoor that are named after real tors, it seems inconceivable that this tor would be "invented" or non-existent.



PLEASE NOTE -  When you step off the track or any footpath, you are on private land .....


PRIVATE LAND - Ruins of Yeoland Consols Mine, at SX 5214 6636.  There was tin mining in the area of Yeoland Farm in 1600. Yeoland mine was operating in the 1770s, likely for copper rather than tin at this time. In 1780, the isolated farmhouse in the area was converted to an alehouse, later to become the Skylark Inn. The mine presumably had mixed fortunes and traded at some point as Plymouth Wheal Yeoland and later as South Yeoland between 1848 and 1855. Yeoland Consols Mining Co. Ltd., a new company in founded 1881, employed 15 underground and 15 surface workers by 1883, produced only 16 cwt of tin, going into liquidation in 1887 and closing by 1892. Source (for some): Buckland Monachorum Parish Council: History of Clearbrook.


An overview of the most prominent (and highest) rock in this area ..... probing the ground around this area with a large fire poker on 2nd Feb. indicated that this is an exposed outcrop of the bedrock, around which the soil ranged from about 2-inches to 7 or 8-inches deep in places. This indicates that this is a real tor and not a collection of loose rocks ..... this becomes more obvious when looking at the lower section of the tor below.


This is what I identified as Chubb Tor from previous photographs taken by Mike Kitchener.


Some human scale.


Geologically, this area consists of metamorphosed Upper Devonian Slate (hornfelsed by the high temperatures of the igneous granite intrusion): this was originally a sedimentary rock (Source: BGS Geology of Britain Viewer


This rock contains quartz - the pure form being SiO2, silicon dioxide, although there are inclusions here.  It could be part of the Kate Brook Formation (slate) which is the country rock around nearby Yelverton Rock, and hornfelsed Upper Devonian slate where it is in close contact with Yelverton Rock, the latter being a dyke-like intrusion of microgranite. Some of the rock photographs (see link below) show swirls in the rock, as though contorted by strong forces e.g. Variscan Orogeny (and in Devon and Cornwall). The many joints in the quartz are probably due to the cooling and contracting of the quartz as it “separated” from the hot magma mix, that was the pluton that formed the batholith giving rise to the granite of the Dartmoor tors. The tremendous heat of the magma upwelling affected the surrounding country rocks and resulted in an area of metamorphic aureole. Alternatively, any sub-horizontal joints could be from the off-loading of the eroding/weathering KB slate above.  The rocky swirls seen in some of the photographs suggest that the material was quite plastic/ductile when exposed to an Orogeny and could even be a zone of volcanic material swept up during the same period. Roborough Rock has also been described as a metamorphic rock, magnesium limestone. 'Proper' limestone is calcium carbonate or calcite (CaCO3). Magnesium limestone is calcium magnesium carbonate (CaMg(CO3)2) and can be known as dolomite; this is formed after CaCO3 is exposed to magnesium-rich ground water. Click here for more photographs of the rocks of the tor.


My GPS location was SX xxxxx xxxxx metres, with an elevation of 150 ±3 metres: the GPS was calibrated in situ, although the area is covered with trees. The waymark on Memory Map gives the elevation adjacent to the mark (on the same "invisible contour") of 149 metres, for what that is worth. There seem to be no other outcrops further up the slope.  The location of the tor is not being divulged on this web site because of the wishes of the landowners.  It is on private land and is not visible from any public path or access land.


An outcrop further down the slope than the rock featured above, which is at the upper right of this photograph, to the right the large tree. 


Whether or not there is a tor in this area seems to be unknown to even local residents. I knocked on four doors of properties with "Chub Tor" in their name, two people answered the door and patiently explained that they did not know why the area was so-called and whether there is a tor locally. One resident has said as much on a seemingly now-defunct blog.


What defines a tor?  Basically, it is an exposure of the bedrock, that may or may not be at the top of a hill.


If this rock is 150 metres in elevation, then it is the fifth lowest tor/rock when compared to the features in Dartmoor's Tors and Rocks, by Ken Ringwood, University of Plymouth Press, 2013. The page numbers of each rock or tor is given in the table below.


Name Height Page
Hunter's Tor 193 105
Leigh Tor 185 115
Great Rock 180 80
High Tor  180 94
Puggiestone 180 152
Ravens' Tor 180 154
Gradner Rocks 178 77
John Cann's Rocks 166 107
Longtimber Tor 165 133
Chubb Tor 150 ---
Raven Rock 135 153
Berra Tor 134 29
Cleft Rock 118 51
Eagle Rock 101 64



Another photograph showing the lower section of the tor ..... the height of this "vertical" face has now been tape-measured at 3.5 metres (11 ft. 6 inches) down to the level of the two larger sapling trees.


Another view .....


A closer view of the upper part of this lower outcrop.


Close view of the lower outcrop vertical face ..... it seems to be composed of separate rocks and stones adhering together like a breccia formation ..... my guess at the moment is that it might be an igneous breccia associated with the heat of the intrusive pluton that was the granitic upwelling that formed much of Dartmoor.


Closer view of this exposed face - click here for more photographs of the rocks of the tor


View of the main tor (lower outcrop): this shows this formation to be cracked into possibly separate rocks.  It is possible that this seemingly "friable" section of the tor is being damaged by the large tree growing on top of it.


Where does the name "Chubb" come from - presumably someone's name?

Researching the BT online telephone directory for "Chubb" reveals Yelverton - 0, Tavistock - 1, Plymouth - 3. Searching for the whole of Devon = 49, although this also somehow includes results for Cornwall and Somerset. There were no results for the spelling "Chub".

An examination of the highly detailed CDROM "Mike Brown's Guide to Dartmoor" (2001), mentions four Chubbs and eleven Chubb marriages:
(1) square 50927876 - a miner, Stephen Chubbe, in 1691. There were 11 marriages of Chubbs in the White Church (now Whitchurch) registers;
(2) square 53627813 - Roger Chubb of Godsworthy Farm, where also lived John Stephens, who committed suicide in 1762 and is buried at Stephens' Grave;
(3) square 54436620 - William Chubbe of Meawye, in a letter of attorney in 1599;
(4) square 55186845 - Francis Woodman & Elizabeth Chub; married at Longstone, in 1655.
Square 562676 records a small-holding named Chubstone near Torr Lane and a meadow named Chubstone Mead. "Torr Fields" appears on modern maps just north of Sheepstor village.

I worked with an Alan Chubb in the 1970s. This is recorded online in Electron Microscopy at the Marine Biological Association: 1961-2006 (see pages 7, 40, 41, 45, 48 & 65). 



Dartmoor CAM movie.
TIPS .....

  • once viewing, make movie viewer "Full Screen"

  • click the loop or "continuous play" icon (if there is one)

  • press F11 to make more "Full Screen", remembering to press it again to regain Normal Screen.

A movie of Chubb Tor - filmed from the tree stump below the vertical face of the tor, showing the cracked nature of this lower part of the tor, zooming in and out again.

Click the photo to download

File size: 5.8 MB.
Length 39 secs




All photographs on this web site are copyright ©2007-2016 Keith Ryan.
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