Tor Royal

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Tor Royal
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General information
Location Dartmoor, Devon, England
Coordinates 50°32′28″N3°58′36″W / 50.5412°N 3.9766°W / 50.5412; -3.9766 Coordinates: 50°32′28″N3°58′36″W / 50.5412°N 3.9766°W / 50.5412; -3.9766
Construction started1785-1793

Tor Royal is a Grade II listed building near Princetown, Dartmoor, in the English county of Devon. Built between 1785 and 1793 by Sir Thomas Tyrwhitt, it was added to in c.1815–20, and restored by A. E. Richardson in 1912. [1]

Princetown town

Princetown is a village in the Dartmoor national park in the English county of Devon. It is the principal settlement of the civil parish of Dartmoor Forest.

Dartmoor Area of moorland in south Devon, England

Dartmoor is an upland area in southern Devon, England. Protected by National Park status as Dartmoor National Park, it covers 954 km2 (368 sq mi).

Devon County of England

Devon, also known as Devonshire, is a county of England, reaching from the Bristol Channel in the north to the English Channel in the south. It is part of South West England, bounded by Cornwall to the west, Somerset to the north east, and Dorset to the east. The city of Exeter is the county town. The county includes the districts of East Devon, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge, Torridge, and West Devon. Plymouth and Torbay are each geographically part of Devon, but are administered as unitary authorities. Combined as a ceremonial county, Devon's area is 6,707 km2 and its population is about 1.1 million.

From the end of the 18th century there was much interest in enclosing and "improving" the open moorland on Dartmoor, and Tyrwhitt enthusiastically took part in this programme. [2] [3] In 1785 he bought over 2,000 acres [lower-alpha 1] near one of the newly constructed turnpike roads across the moor and had an access road built to his estate, where he experimented with growing various crops, the most successful of which was flax. [4]

Turnpike trusts

Turnpike trusts were bodies set up by individual acts of Parliament, with powers to collect road tolls for maintaining the principal roads in Britain from the 17th but especially during the 18th and 19th centuries. At the peak, in the 1830s, over 1,000 trusts administered around 30,000 miles (48,000 km) of turnpike road in England and Wales, taking tolls at almost 8,000 toll-gates and side-bars.

Flax species of plant

Flax, also known as common flax or linseed, is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is a food and fiber crop cultivated in cooler regions of the world. Textiles made from flax are known in the Western countries as linen, and traditionally used for bed sheets, underclothes, and table linen. Its oil is known as linseed oil. In addition to referring to the plant itself, the word "flax" may refer to the unspun fibers of the flax plant. The plant species is known only as a cultivated plant, and appears to have been domesticated just once from the wild species Linum bienne, called pale flax.

According to the listing text at British Listed Buildings, the interest of this house lies "not only in the quality of its interior and its unaltered nature, but also in its historical importance to Princetown and its royal connections." [1] Tyrwhitt instigated the building of both Dartmoor Prison (1809) and the Plymouth and Dartmoor Railway (1823) which led to the development of Princetown as a town. Various members of the royal family visited and stayed at the house, Prince Albert in August 1846, for example. [5]

The Plymouth and Dartmoor Railway (P&DR) was a 4 ft 6 in gauge railway built to improve the economy of moorland areas around Princetown in Devon, England. Independent carriers operated horse-drawn wagons and paid the company a toll. It opened in 1823, and a number of short branches were built in the next few years.

Albert, Prince Consort Husband of Queen Victoria

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was the husband of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.


  1. Somers Cocks (1970) says 2,300, Milton (2006) says 2,500.

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  1. 1 2 "Tor Royal, Dartmoor Forest". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  2. Somers Cocks, John (1970). "Exploitation". In Crispin Gill (ed.). Dartmoor. A New Study . Newton Abbot: David and Charles. pp. 245–255. ISBN   0-7153-5041-2.
  3. Rowe, Samuel; Rowe, J. Brooking (1985) [1896]. A Perambulation of the Forest of Dartmoor (reprint of 3rd ed.). Exeter: Devon Books. p. 255. ISBN   0-86114-773-1.
  4. Milton, Patricia (2006). The Discovery of Dartmoor, a Wild and Wondrous Region. Chichester: Phillimore. pp. 33–4. ISBN   1-86077-401-6.
  5. Wright, W. H. K. (c. 1900). The Story of Plymouth For Young and Old. Exeter: A. Wheaton & Co. p. 126.