Buckland Beacon and the Ten Commandment Stones

A walk with sweeping views and a peep into a Dartmoor legend.

Buckland Beacon is a granite tor and conical beacon on Dartmoor. It stands at 382 metres above sea level overlooking the Dart Valley. Due to its lofty position, it was once used as one of the many fire beacons across Dartmoor.


Buckland Beacon is well known for its ‘Ten Commandments’ which are carved into two of the stones of the tor. This project of passion was said to be the brainchild of Lord Whitley, who employed a stonemason to do the work. The stonemason started his work on 15th December 1927, and it took him six months to complete the carving.


The Ten Commandment Stones have recently been restored.

Exposed to the elements of Dartmoor, the slabs became badly weathered and the text barely visible, but in June 2016 the lettering on the stones underwent a lengthy £16,000 restoration programme involving the re-cutting of the letters.


Getting There

Leave the car park next to the Ashburton Information Centre. Turn left up North Street, then left crossing the bridge onto Headborough Road. Follow the road up the steep hill until you reach a right turn with a signpost to Haytor and Widecombe (this signpost can often be obscured by dense foliage in the summer).


Follow the road crossing over a cattle grid and continue until a junction where you will turn left into Cold East Cross Car Park.



The Walk

  1. Across the road, to the right from the car park, the path starts.

  2. Continue on this path for about 1km until you reach the Buckland Beacon. After you’ve admired the far-reaching views and deciphered The Ten Commandments, head left until you reach a stone wall ahead.

  3. Turn left and follow the wall until you meet the path again back to the car park.






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