Bowerman's Nose, Manaton, Dartmoor National Park

Bowerman's Nose, Manaton, Dartmoor National Park

On the western side of Hayne Down, near the moorland village Manaton, is a tall stack of granite called Bowerman's Nose. When viewed from various angles, the stack of granite takes on the form of a human being with a big nose. Local legend suggests that Bowerman was a Norman hunter who was turned into stone by witches. His hounds form nearby Hound Tor.

As ever, the Dartmoor expert William Crossing provides quality information about Bowerman's Nose in his 'Guide to Dartmoor'.

'A short distance S. of Town Barton is Hayne Cross, and making our way thither we turn R. to Hayne, whence a path will lead us to Hayne Down, on which, about 1/4m. from the enclosures, we perceive the weather-beaten Bowerman's Nose. This curiously-shaped pile, which the imaginations of former antiquaries turned into a rock idol, is really part of a tor, the other part having gone to ruin and now forming the clatter below it. It consists of five layers of granite, and rises to a height of nearly forty feet. In the Notes to Carrington's 'Dartmoor', 1826, it is stated that a person named Bowerman lived at Hound Tor, near by, in the Conqueror's time, by which we suppose some sort of connection between that individual and the rock is suggested. But is has also been thought that Bowerman may be a corruption of vawr maen, the great stone. This derivation is, however, open to the objection that the words would not fall in this order, but that the great stone would be referred to by the Celts as maen vawr, the noun coming first, so that we might rather expect to find the term corrupted to Minevower.'

We've positioned Bowerman's Nose on Google maps so zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting of the accompanying map to see its location.


Recommended route to Bowerman's Nose for the first time

To visit for the first time, we'd recommend walking in from Manaton. Start at the car park by Manaton St Winifred Church. Follow the skinny moorland road south to Hayne Cross. From there, take the path that rises south west to the top of Hayne Down. This is marked on the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map. Once you're on top of Hayne Down, wander north west to a cluster of outcrops. Bowerman's Nose is below you. Again, we've located Bowerman's Nose on Google maps so zoom in to see its exact location.

There are plenty of other routes you can take to the stack of granite.


Routes and directions to Bowerman's Nose from the south

From the south. It's a very easy walk from the car park at Swallerton Gate by Hound Tor. Follow the moorland road north past Moorhayes to the edge of Hayne Down. Go through the gate and take the path that climbs north east to the top of Hayne Down. Wander across to Bowerman's Nose.


Routes and directions to Bowerman's Nose from the west

From the west. There's limited parking along the road by Jay's Grave. A path runs east to Moorhayes and the gate to which we referred above.


Routes and directions to Bowerman's Nose from the east

From the east. If you fancy starting from a pub, head for the Kestor Inn in Water/Manaton. Follow the moorland road past Deal Cottage to Hayne Cross and then wander up to Hayne Down.


Routes and directions to Bowerman's Nose from the north

From the north. There's a car park at North Bovey. It's fun to walk up to the top of Easdon Tor and then drop down to Barracott. Wander along the moorland road to Langstone Cross and then continue towards Manaton. Shortly, you come to a very narrow road on your right. This leads to Hayne Down. You'll see Bowerman's Nose on the skyline. The road rises steeply. Where it flattens out, there's a very obvious path to your left that takes you up to Bowerman's Nose.