|I thought this related to Hob's mesolithic rock shelter mentioned in his notes on Salter's Nick, but I feel confused about its whereabouts, because the Punch Bowl is on the Pipers Chair.
This is from the memoirs of the Reverend John Hodgson.
The rude cavern called Shaftoe Hall is wide and lofty at is entrance, but decreases in width and height to the distance of thirty feet inwards. It is probably the combined work of nature and art: the mouth having the appearance of being much weather-worn, and marks of tools and holes for wedges of different shapes appearing in several parts of its interior. The rock itself is traversed with layers of pebbles the size of almonds; and it also contains decayed crystals of feldspar, and in some places Mr. W. C. Trevelyan, of Wallington, has found it reddish with minute fragments of garnets.Ah he makes it sound like an amazing grotto.
Immediately above the cavern a huge isolated mass of the same kind of rock, called the Punch Bowl Stone, has been on every side undermined by the weather, projects boldly over the brow of the crag, and has its top worn into large holes, some of which are regular hollow hemispheres, around which the wind in rainy weather drives the water they collect in constant eddies.He then speculates that the Druids would have used the cave and rock bowls. Well, seems reasonable really - I doubt they could have been ignored. They remind me of the rock basins of Dartmoor.
This stone is also traversed with a stratum of large quartz pebbles, and deep gutters are worn from the basins in its top, all over which the country people who have com to visit the place have cut the initials of their names.
p113 in 'A Memoir of the Rev. John Hodgson' by James Raine, vol 2, published 1858, but the memoir above is from 1827
Posted by Rhiannon
27th August 2007ce
Edited 28th August 2007ce