It is a picturesque hill, and only needs the addition of another couple of hundred put to its elevation to make it perfect.
The basin below the village was anciently a lake, the water being retained by a barrier of rock where stands now the dam for the reservoir. This, in time, was silted up to the depth of ninety feet, and now the Plymouth Corporation, by the construction of a fine and eminently picturesque barrier across the narrow gorge through which the Meavy flows, have reconverted this basin into a lake.
Near the summit of the tor is the Pixy Cave, in which Squire Elford remained concealed whilst the Roundheads searched Longstone for him. Some faithful tenants in the village kept him supplied with food till pursuit was at an end. The Elfords inherited Longstone from the Scudamores at the close of the fifteenth century. The parish was then called Shettes Tor, from the Celtic syth, steep; but the name has been altered in this or last century. The last Elford of Sheeps Tor was John, who married Admonition Prideaux, and died without issue in 1748, his six children having predeceased him. A side branch of the family—to which, however, Sheeps Tor did not fall—produced Sir William Elford, Bart, of Bickham, but he died in 1837, without male issue, and the title became extinct. His monument is in Totnes church.
A man named Cole, working at the granite quarries at Merrivale Bridge, a few years ago sang me a song concerning a doe that escaped from Elford Park, which was probably situated where is now Yelverton.