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Dartmoor is a plateau in southwest Devon about 22 miles north-south and 20 miles east-west, with a mean elevation of about 1500 feet. Numerous granite-topped hills or "tors" rise above the general level, with Willhayse and Yes Tor exceeding 2000 feet in height.

The central part of the moor has formed since very early times, a royal forest or reserve. The moor itself affords valuable mountain pasture to cattle and sheep.

The Dartmoor convict prison at Princetown was built originally for French prisoners of war in 1806.