Famous Tor Formations

To describe rock structures, geologists created several terms for naturally formed rock formations. Sea stacks are columns of rock in the sea shaped by time and tide and inselbergs are rocky outcrops rising out of a plain. A tor on the other hand is a rock formation formed by weathering, usually found on or near the top of a hill.

Stiperstones, England
File:Devil's Chair.jpg

The Stiperstones is a group of rock formations in the county of Shropshire, England. Situated about 530 meters above sea level, Stiperstones is a quartzite ridge formed some 480 million years ago. Some of the principal Tors of quartzite include: Shepherd’s Rock, Devil’s Chair, Manstone Rock, Cranberry Rock, Nipstone Rock, and The Rock. The Manstone Rock is the highest and the Devil’s Chair is the largest and best known. The Stiperstones is a National Nature Reserve, and the area surrounding it is rich in myths and legends.

Higger Tor, England
File:Higger Tor 1.jpg

Not all Tors are made of the same material. The Higger Tor in the Burbage Valley, in the Peak District of England is made of gritstone, a sedimentary rock made up of coarse, usually angular sand grains. Higger Tor is located 1400 feet above sea level and is the most prominent of all the crags on Hathersage Moor in the county of South Yorkshire overlooking the hill fort of Carl Wark to the southeast.

Dartmoor Tors, England
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Dartmoore is a 954 square kilometers (368 sq mi) moorland in the heart of Devon, England. More than 170 tors made up of granite can be found in the site which provides habitat for Dartmoor wildlife. The entire site which is protected by National Park status is rich in antiquities and archeology. The highest point on Dartmoore is the 621 m (2,040 ft) high High Willhays, and the best known tor is probably the 457 m (1,500 ft) exquisitely formed Haytor or Hey Tor.

Elephants Rocks, USAWikimedia

Elephants Rocks are giant granite rocks standing end-to-end looking like a train of pink circus elephants, thus the name. The rounded boulders were formed about 1.5 million years ago when molten magma cooled and formed coarsely crystalline red granite, which later weathered. One of the largest rocks named Dumbo weights a massive 680 tons. Elephants Rocks is found in the US state of Missouri.

Kit-Mikayi, Kenya
Kit-Mikayi is a 70 meter high rock outcrop located in western Kenya. The giant rock formation site is a place of interest, especially among the Luo tribes who are living near the tor. It is also a place of worship for the followers of a local sect who visit the rock to pray and fast. The name Kit Mikayi (also Kitmikaye) means “Stones of the first wife” or “First Wife Rocks” in the Dholuo dialect. Legend has it that Mikayi (meaning: first wife) went up the hill to the giant stones when her husband took a second wife.