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A view of Houndtor with a climber scaling the tor

Hounds, Houndtor and an abandoned hamlet

Houndtor has been famous for the setting of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s bloodthirsty tale the Hounds of the Baskervilles for more than a century. The story depicts huge, murderous black hounds gorging their victims amid the mists, swamps and weird bleakness of Dartmoor.

Doyle was first told the story by a friend of his, Bertram Fletcher Robinson, who lived nearby and often took Sir Arthur for  moorland walks when he was in that part of the world.

The original legend dates back to the 1670s when a local squire of evil repute died a horrible, violent death and on his deathbed was transformed into a fire breathing hound hell bent on despatching the ungrateful locals and, in time, unwary moorland travellers by ripping out their throats.

But that was then.

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