|They're probably still telling this story in the pub. Maybe people are still getting stuck up there.
It is customary with the young men in the neighbourhood to climb up this huge rock, from the top of which there is a fine prospect of the vale below, but it requires considerable dexterity and address to descend.Tourists eh.
The rustics here relate a story respecting the "Drake Stone" with great glee. On one fine summer evening, a few years ago, a stranger arrived at the village. He entered a public house, and having taken some refreshment, immediately departed. His intention was to ascend the Drake Stone, which he did with little difficulty, and after remaining for some time on the summit of the rock, enjoying the beautiful and extensive prospect, the deepening gloom warned him that it was time to depart, and he therefore set about descending the dangerous rock, but in vain.
He looked at the yawning depth below and shuddered at the prospect of attempting to descend; further, the night was closing in, not a human being was in sight, and the poor traveller in an agony of fear was obliged to content himself with remaining on the cold rock with the starry heaven for a canopy.
Wrapping himself up in his garments as well as he could, he laid him down to obtain, if possible, some repose. To sleep, however, was not in his power, the knowledge of his situation made him to lay awake, anxiously waiting the break of day.
Early on the following morning, the inhabitants on rising, were surprised to hear a human voice, "loud as the huntsman's shout," bawling lustily for assistance. Seeing his danger, they immediately proceeded to the stone, and by proper means and some exertion, he was safely extricated from his very perilous situation, where he had passed so sleepless a night.
From p 142 of 'The local historian's table book' by M A Richardson (1844) = now on Google Books.
Posted by Rhiannon
18th October 2007ce