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Bawd Stone

Natural Rock Feature


The Bawdstone is mentioned in 'Twilight of the Celtic Gods' by David Clarke and Andy Roberts (1996).
In the past, the stone was the focus of an extraordinary procession on the morning of 1 May, the festival of Beltane, which marked the beginning of summer. Dozens of people, some helping sick and infirm relatives, would follow a well-worn path from the market town of Leek and villages round about, travelling by foot many miles to the rock escarpment. Here they would crawl beneath the Bawdstone 'to knock the Devil off their backs'.
The authors' contact knew a man in his 80s who'd visited the stone in secret when he was sick. The big gatherings ceased at the turn of the century.

They also say: "In 1879 a writer.. described how the boulder was always whitewashed 'with some ceremony' on the morning of 1 May." The farmer who owned the land continued the tradition until the 1920s.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
26th August 2007ce
Edited 26th August 2007ce

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