Beloved old tor, fully fifty summers known
To me, though countless storms have o’er thee swept,
And lightenings fierce around thy crags have leapt
‘Midst all unscathed, still steadfast thy thrown!
Less happy me, the flight of time I moan
Its numbering influence hath o’er me crept:-
My feet, that once thy boulders nimbly stept,
And scales thy flanks, are now unsteady grown.
Yet thou art in peril: I am sad to see
Gangs of rough quarrymen thy form surround,
And, penetrating to thy depths profound,
Block after block pluck forth with ruthless glee,
Rise, mighty Odin rise, their fury check,
And save, oh save, thy sacred rock from wreck.
L. W. N. Keys
In the mid 1800s Pew Tor was the victim of what has been called the ‘Graniteers’ who removed much of the stone for profit. A series of boundstones marks the limits of this far reaching granite sett which was in use right up to the early 1900s. The above poem clearly bemoans the damage the stone cutters exacted on the tor and the ruination of what clearly was a favourite haunt. Today it’s not the stone cutters of old who assail the rocky crags but numerous walkers who leave much more than their footprints and the ever encroaching bracken. The famous legend regarding the Pew Tor Piskies relates how the little folk finally exacted there revenge for the disrespect shown to their haunt.