Eric and me descended the steep side of Fin cop hand in hand (he's not good with heights bless him), just heading for an old tree by the river, if I managed to find Hobs cave it would have to be by chance, my map was no help, google earth wont let me play, so chance would have to be my only allie, it came up trumps too.
Away to our right I spied some interesting looking rocks and knowing Eric likes a good scramble we mozied over.
The oppresion I'd felt above in the hillfort was easing up now, and I felt this was a good place and that Hob where ever he is nowadays (some say Northumberland) he didnt mind our encroachment , and when I found the cave and the manner I found it, I felt almost welcome.
I was wandering amongst the rock stacks stumbling as I gauped around, there are some thin passageways through the rocks reminding me of the Wadi that leads to the treasury at Petra, well we came out of the rock stacks and there right in front of us was this cave mouth, I looked down at Eric and said "this way Indy"
Upon reaching the tall thin cave I turned around to survey the vista, and over to our left was this obvious man shape looking skyward, even the lad pointed it out, this must surely be the demigod himself,I silently said hello and entered his mansion.
The cave is no more than three feet wide but as much as thirty feet high, was the rock man recognised as Hob before the cave became his house ?because its not very roomy exept upward.
Just inside the entrance some large boulders have fallen almost blocking egress to the rear of the fissure, Eric could get under but I opted for over then drop down, we then scuttled as far as we could, all this by camera flashlight only, eventually eric called for a return to sunlight, but strangely I liked it in the cave more than up on the hillfort.
We laughed and joked about poo dodging mostly all the way down to the river, where we sat by the weir and watched a Dipper going about his wintery tasks, then oppresive feelings forgotten we made our tired way back up to the carpark.
On the steep side of Great Finn, an insulated rock that is split and rent into parts rises like the ruins of a castle from out the thick underwood with which the hill is covered: this shapeless mass is called Hob's House, and tradition states, that it was inhabited by a being of a gigantic stature, who was possessed of great and mysterious powers, and who was known by the name of Hob. This extraordinary personage never appeared by day; but when the inhabitants were asleep in their beds, he traversed the vales, entered their houses, thrashed their corn, and in one single night did the work of ten day-labourers, unseen and unheard, for which service he was recompensed with a bowl of cream, that was duly placed upon the hearth, to be quaffed on the completion of the task he had voluntarily imposed upon himself. This is a tradition by no means confined to the neighbourhood of Monsal-Dale; a similar one prevails in many parts of the kingdom, and particularly in the northern districts...
From 'Peak Scenery, or the Derbyshire Tourist' by Eberneezer Rhodes (1824).
The fissure cave on the tumbled limestone rocks of Hob's House, on the northern side of Fin Cop, was once said to be the home of the giant Hulac Warren (sometimes Hector Warren) or Hob.
On a bend in the river, closer to Demons Dale, stands the Warren Stone. Which is said to be the petrified remains of the giant who was turned to stone for the attempted rape of a shepherdess. During the attack she either fell or threw herself to her death. Where her body landed a spring of pure water formed.
In an old local rhyme suggesting witchcraft in the area, Hob is portrayed as a fiddler:
The piper of Shacklow,
The fiddler of Fin,
The old woman of Demons Dale,
Calls them all in.