At the South-west end of Stanton moor, in the Peak, and in Hartle liberty, is an assemblage of rocks, which stand on the summit of a circular hill called Graned Tor, but more commonly known by the name of Mock Beggar's Hall. Stone (a) is the one on the left with four big holes in it. Stone (b) is the highest on the right, with (c) and (d) beneath it, and (e) being the pointy one overlapping (d).
When I had the honour of communicating to the Society some years ago an account of the Druidical monuments in that neighbourhood, I had not an opportunity of examining this Tor with that accuracy which is necessary in the investigation of these ancient monuments; but having been since in the vicinity of these rocks, at the house of my worthy friend Bache Thornhill, esq. to whose politeness I am much indebted, I requently examined every accessible part of this Tor, and, notwithstanding the many large rocks that have fallen from the top, there is sufficient evidence of its having been a curious group of Druidical monuments.
Fig. 9, Pl. VII. is a North-west view of Graned Tor; the rock marked (a) with four rock basons, is 29 feet in circumference, and plainly appears, from its present position, to have fallen from the top. The three stones (b, c, d,) seem to have been placed by art, and the uppermost is, I think, very likely to be a rocking stone, but there was no possibility of getting near enough to make the experiment.
Whilst I was taking a drawing of this Tor, an old man who stood by, told me that he remembered when he was a boy, his grandfather's pointing to the stone (b), and saying, it had always been called the Great Altar, and that several other rocks had names, but he had forgot what they were. We are led by traditional accounts to form probable conjectures; and, as the Heathens always placed their altars on their highest ground, there is great reason to suppose that this elevated rock was a Druidical altar.
At the bottom of the third rock from the top, marked (d), is a large rock bason of an oval shape, diameter 4 feet by 2 feet 10 inches, which evidently appears to be cut with a tool; the rock (e) is placed slopingly against the rock (d), and forms a kind of cavity, big enough to hold three or four people, in which is the rock bason above-mentioned.
Fig. 10 is a near view of this aperture, whence there is a very extensive prospect, of course well calculated for the purpose of divination.
From An Account of the Druidical Remains in Derbyshire. In a Letter to the Right Honourable Frederick Montague, FAS. By Hayman Rooke, Esq. FAS. In Archaeologia v12 (1796).
Posted by Rhiannon
1st May 2013ce
Edited 1st May 2013ce