The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Pots and Pans Stone

Natural Rock Feature


The next example of reputed Druidical remains in this county, which I shall describe, is to be found in Saddleworth. There is a lofty hill, called by the neighbouring people Pots and Pans. Upon its summit are abundance of craggy stones scattered up and down, which, when viewed from the east, look like the foundation or ruins of some stupendous fabric.

One of these stones, or rather two of them, closely joined together, is called the Pancake. It has upon its surface four basins hollowed in the stone, the largest, being nearly in the centre, is capable of holding 8 or 10 gallons; but it is not possible to ascertain whether these hollows are artificial or natural. This stone is about 76 feet in circumference; another long uneven hole upon this stone is called Robin Hood's Bed.

A little westward of this is another stone, about 20 feet in heght, and about 56 feet in circumference at the base, but much narrower at the top, from whence proceed irregular flutings or ridges down one side, of about 2 feet long, by some supposed the effect of time, and by others the workmanship of art.

More westward, and nearer the valley of Greenfield, the ground is called Alderman's, and overlooks that valley, opposite to a large and high rock called Alphian. Upon the level of this ground is a fissure in the earth, about 12 or 14 yards long, each end terminating in a cavernous hole in the rock, one of which is capable of admitting dogs, foxes, or sheep: the other large enough to receive men. Neither of these caverns has been thoroughly explored by anyone within memory.* One person who went into the larger with a light, returned after having gone down a sloping descent of about 60 yards. Tradition says, into the other hole, once went a dog in full chase after a fox, but neither of them ever returned.

*This is an extract from an account of these rocks written fifty years ago. Since that time demolition has been at work, and what time has spared has been wantonly injured. Many of these large and ponderous stones have been removed by crows and levers, for the purpose of trying how far they would tumble. Thus we find the hand of violence uniting with the devouring teeth of time, determined scarcely to leave one stone upon another upon this once sacred ground.
From 'Some Observations on Certain supposed Druidical Remains in the County of York', by JK Walker, in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1839, part 1, pp 133-140.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
21st October 2011ce

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