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

Rowtor Rocks

Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art


The name of these rocks bespeaks the purpose to which they have been applied, as the compound appellation of Row-tor, or Roo-tor, Rocks appears to have been derived from the various rocking-stones near the summit, as it is common in the provincial dialect to say that a thing "roos" which moves backwards and forwards.

In the view given, which shows the principal platform on the summit, a large rock is seen against which a man is pushing. This is the largest rocking-stone. Its height is about 10 feet, and its circumference in the widest part about 30; its basse has somewhat a convex form, and the rock on which it stands has evidently been hollowed out to receive it. At one time it could easily be moved by the pressure of the hand; but on Whit-Sunday, in the year 1799, a party of fourteen young men mischievously threw it off its base. It was, however, restored to its former position, but the nice balance was destroyed, and it now requires the whole force of a strong man to move it in the least.

At a little distance northward is a second rocking-stone, somewhat resembling an egg laid on one side, which may be moved by the pressure of a single finger, though 12 feet in length and 14 in breadth.

More directly north is another rocking-stone, resembling the latter both in figure and facility of motion, and at the west end are seven stones piled on each other, various in size and form, and two or three very large ones, that can all be shaken by the pressure of one hand on application to various parts.

One remarkable feature of this interesting spot is a natural tunnel through the rocks, the opening to which is half-way up the pathway. It is exceedingly gloomy, receiving light only from the narrow and low entrance, which requires the visitor to stoop very much on entering. As soon as the eye becomes accustomed to the gloom, the numerous crevices and cracks in the rocks are found to be filled with a most beautiful and delicate moss, of such a dazzling, vivid green, that as the light catches its velvet-like surface, the cavern seems adorned with veins of the most brilliant emeralds.
From 'The Scenery and Traditions of England' in The London Journal, July 1st, 1871 (p13).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
31st August 2012ce

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