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

Popping Stone

Natural Rock Feature


I called the folklore arising in the 1860 or 70s about the Popping Stone "synthetic" because I believe it to have been deliberately and cynically created to aid promotion of the stone as part of the Gilsland Spa tourist package. You are quite right to point out that folklore is being created all the time, but it is important (and difficult) to separate to two varieties.

The Spa at Gilsland didn't "obviously" get popular in Victorian times. Walter Scott went there in Georgian times, because it was already very popular then.

The Woodland Trust "information" board in the woods at the Spa also invites us to watch out for red deer. Roe deer are almost synonymous with Northumbrian/Cumbrian woodlands but red deer are not found anywhere near Gilsland. This is woodland ecology - something you might expect the Woodland Trust to know something about - I reckon their pronouncements on obscure aspects of local history are likely to be just as slapdash.
Posted by kentigern
30th May 2006ce

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