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Roseberry Topping

Sacred Hill


In a paper for Archaeologica Scotia (Volume 4 1857) entitled "An Account of certain Bronze Instruments, supposed to be Druidical Remains, found beneath a large Rock on the South Side of the Top of Roseberry in Cleveland" G. S. Faber the Rector of Long-Newton wrote a description of Roseberry Topping and the bronze hoard found there. His paper is a lovely piece of antiquarian writing and very much of its time. Below is his description of the origins of the name Roseberry and its association with the nearby River Leven.

"A favourite line of Antiquarian study, which I once pursued with no small measure of deep interest, has long induced me to believe that Roseberry was in old times a high place of the Celtic Druids, whose theology, originally brought out of Asia, was the same in substance as that, of the Hindoos, the Persians, the Indo-Scythians, the Babylonians, and the Egyptians; or indeed, as I may rather say, the same as primeval paganism in every part of the world. Agreeably to such an origination, the name of Roseberry, or Rhos-Barit is the very same as that of the mountain in Armenia, where the ark, astronomically
venerated by the pagan world as the lunar ship or the navicular crescent, was thought to have come to land : for, according to Nicholas, of Damascus, it still, in his days, bore the name of Mount Saris, or the Mount of the Ship; a name which is precisely equivalent to that of our Celtic :Rhos-Bari The ship Baris, when personified, was sidereally the goddess of the Moon; which, under the character of the Universal Mother, and the Mother,of the World, was thought to have once floated over a boundless expanse, of water, having received into her womb Osiris, or Bacchus, or Siva, or Hu, or by what-ever name might be designated the Universal Father analogically venerated as the god of the Sun; and accordingly, under this identical name of Baris, the lunar ship-goddess, as we learn from Strabo, had atemple in Armenia, at Mount Abus, near the road which led to Ecbatana
I take it that the name of Rhos-Bari or Mount Baris, or the Hill of the Lunar Ship, was brought originally by the Celts out of Asia: and, as in all their local imitations or appropriations of the primeval Ararat, the Pagans ordinarily associated a sacred river or lake of the Moon with the sacred mountain of the Moon, we have, near our Yorkshire Rhos-Bari, the river Leven, or the river of the Moon; a name equally borne by a once consecrated lake and river in Scotland.
The Deities, worshipped on Rhos-Bari and on the banks of the holy Leven, were Hu, and Ceridwen, and Crierwy: the first described as the Sun, and yet represented as having escaped in a wonderful ship from an universal deluge; the second adored as the Moon, and yet mysteriously celebrated as a ship which conveyed the god Hu in safety over the waters, when beneath them a prior world was inundated; the third viewed as the daughter or the allegorical re-appearance of the second, and thus identical with the lunar ship of the dead in the river of the fabled Hades".
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
5th November 2004ce
Edited 5th November 2004ce

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