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Mam Tor

Sacred Hill

Folklore

Hence I went to Mamme Torr, which is an high Mountain broken on one Side, of which the Tradition is, that the Earth continually falls down, yet is not the Hill any thing diminished, nor the Heaps of Earth below at all encreased.

I got as near as I could to the broken Side, but could not hear or see any such running down of the Earth; when there is Rain, the Water running down washeth away with it much of the Hill.

I was informed, that on the Top of this Mountain is an antient Roman Camp, encompassed with a double Trench, whereabout are sometimes found Store of antient Roman Medals.
p177 in 'Select Remains of the Learned John Ray, with his Life' by William Derham. Published 1760.
Online at Google Books.
John Ray's journey to Mam Tor was made in 1658.

A later visitor didn't believe the hype:
Mam-tor is a huge Precipice facing the East, or South-East; which is said to be perpetually shivering and throwing down great Stones on a smaller Mountain below it; and that nevertheless, neither the one increases, nor the other decreases in Bigness.

This Mountain is composed chiefly of a Sort of Slate-Stone (called in that Country Black Shale and great Stone. The Nature of the Black Shale is known to be, that notwithstanding it is very hard before it is exposed to the Air; yet it is afterwards very easily crumbled to Dust. Thus on any Storm, or melting of Snow, this Shale is considerably wasted; and as the great Stones are gradually disengaged, they must necessarily fall down.

That it is only at these Times that the Mountain wastes, is affirmed by the most intelligent of the neighbouring Inhabitants: And that this Decay is not perpetual, I can affirm myself; having not only taken a close Survey of it, but also climbed up the very Precipice, without feeling any other shivering in the Mountain, than what the treading of my own Feet in the loose crumbled Earth occasioned. That the Mountain does not decrease in the mean Time, is a Tale too frivolous to need any Consideration.
An Account of some Observations relating to Natural History, made in a Journey to the Peak in Derbyshire by Mr. J. Martyn, F.R.S. From the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, 1753.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
20th March 2007ce
Edited 1st June 2015ce

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