Cross over the
Anthony Stile and follow the public footpath in a northerly direction.
Cross the next stile into the Army Camp and the Ten Tors Cross can be seen
on the grass, just to the right of the path.
As this cross stands beside a public footpath, access to the cross is available at all times. However, you are reminded that you must keep to the path and that you are not free to roam within the boundaries of the camp.
O/S Grid Ref: SX/58782/92857 Longitude/Latitude (Degrees+/-): -4.00181/50.71813
Map location: Click here to view map.
Purpose: Memorial Cross.
Size: 9 feet (2.74 metres) tall. 2 feet (0.61 metres) across the arms. The shaft, at the base, measures 11˝ inches (0.29 metres) square.
Information: This tall, elegant, Maltese Cross is unusual, if not unique, on Dartmoor in that it has not been fashioned from granite. The cross has been made from concrete, with iron reinforcing rods embedded into the structure. The shaft is square in section and is set into a concrete base, which measures 2 feet 7˝ inches (0.79 metres) square and 12 inches (0.30 metres) high. Unfortunately, the south-east corner of the shaft has suffered a little from erosion, where the concrete has fallen away to expose one of the reinforcing rods.
The Ten Tors expedition was started in 1960 and at that time was based at the Denbury Camp, also known as Rawlinson Barracks, which is about two miles to the south west of Newton Abbot. This continued until the Camp closed in 1968, at which time the base was moved to the Okehampton Army Camp. After its closure, the Denbury Camp was demolished and the Channings Wood Prison built in its place. A metal plaque screwed to the north face of the shaft records the history of the cross, thus:
The Ten Tors Expedition is held annually over a weekend in May. It is open to schools, youth clubs and similar organisations to enter one or more teams. Each team consists of 6 participants, who are aged between 14 and 19 years. The event is usually so popular that the limit of 400 teams is well oversubscribed. The event is run by the territorial army, in conjunction with the regular army, from its base at the Okehampton Camp. It is always stressed that it is not a race, but a stringent test of the youngsters’ endurance, navigation and team-working skills.
Teams will begin to gather at the camp on the Friday afternoon, prior to the start of the walk, and will pitch their tents ready for an early start the following morning. Saturday begins bright and early with a mass start to the expedition from the camp at 7 a.m. Teams will be given a set route of 35, 45 or 55 miles dependant on age and ability. Each route will include 10 manned checkpoints, on tors spread across both the north and south moors. Teams must stick together and present themselves at all checkpoints on their route. To ensure that all teams keep to the two-day schedule, at least one checkpoint must be visited on the Sunday and all teams must reach the finish, back at the army camp, by 5 p.m. that day. This means, of course, the teams will be sleeping out on the moor and carrying and preparing their own food.
The event generates a good atmosphere at the camp with the build up of anticipation from the Friday afternoon onwards. In fact many of the teams will have spent several weekends training on the moors building up to the big event. Most of the parents will also be in attendance at the camp and Friday evening usually turns into one big barbeque and party. The mass start on Saturday, with over 2,000 youngsters full of energy and setting off in all directions, is an experience not to be missed. In contrast, the sense of relief and elation, at completing the course, is felt by each and every one of the entrants on arrival back at the camp on the Sunday. A lot of hard work is undertaken every year by the event organisers and the team coaches, but the reward of seeing the youngsters finish makes all the effort well worthwhile.