Jutting abruptly out of a grassy field in Devon, and standing out even among the other rocky formations nearby, the tall stone spire known as Bowerman’s Nose is the center of a legend that tells of a hunter who was turned to granite by a coven of annoyed witches.
As the story goes, a hunter named Bowerman was out hunting with his hounds when they came across a circle of witches broomstick deep in a magic ritual. An apparently clumsy hunter, Bowerman is said to have upended the witches cauldron which was super frustrating to them because they would have to start their ritual over. To take revenge for this inconvenience, one of the witches turned into a hare and got the hunting party to chase her right into a mire where the witches surrounded Bowerman and his hounds and turned them to stone. Harsh.
The granite spire known as Bowerman’s Nose is said to be all that remains of the hunter (the hounds are said to be represented by the nearby Hounds Tor formation). In reality the rock is actually the center of a former tor which has simply eroded away to a profile that slightly resembles a human visage. It is no boorish-hunter-gets-transfomed-to-stone-by-witches, but it is the truth.
Visit England with Atlas Obscura Trips
London Science Weekend: Medicine and Science in the Press
Join New York Times Journeys and Atlas Obscura for three days of scientific learning, special access and exploration in London. Accompanied by Times journalists and scientific experts, meet people contributing to the history of medicine and scientific journalism. This two-track program includes panels, exclusive visits and access to some of the best scientific minds available to concentrate on science reporting or medical history.