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"Llad" (British), and if so, it points towards the sacrifices, offered by the ancient Britons on these rugged mountain tops, to Taram, the equivalent to the Scandinavian Thor. Their situation, too, so near Thorsden Valley, adds another item in favour of the probability.
We come next to the Great and Little Saucer Stones, so named from the cavities scooped out upon them. One of these may be noticed in passing, as it is of an oval form and large dimensions. This basin is now imperfect; for the oscillations of the water in the cavity, produced by strong winds, or some other causes, appear to have worn away the lip, so that the water now flows over the edge of the stone at a lower level than when the contour was complete. This appears to be the case with many others; and in some instances the cavities have been completely filled up by the encroaching soil and heather. The Little Chair Stones, the Fox Stones, and the Broad Head Stones, lie at no great distance, each group containing numerous cavities similar in character to those just described. Several of these groups of boulders have evidently obtained their local designations from a supposed resemblance they have to the animals, or other objects, whose names they bear. The Grey Stones, and the Steeple Stones, on Barn Hill, are examples in point; and the whole of one spur of Boulsworth is termed Wycoller Ark, from its fancied resemblance to a farmer's chest, or to the ordinary pictures of Noah's capacious ship.
There are several groups of natural rocks and boulders on Warcock Hill, which are locally termed Dave or Dew Stones by the resident inhabitants. These contain a considerable number of rock basins; and, although the blocks on which they are found occupy conspicuous positions, they do not seem to be arranged in any definite order. If the Druids have really used them for devotional purposes, they have evidently been satisfied with the simple order of nature. On
the surface of one immense Dave Stone boulder, whose extremity is buried far beneath the heather, there is a perfect hemispherical cavity, ten inches in diameter. The surface of another contains an oblong basin of larger dimensions, with a long grooved channel leading from its curved contour towards the edge of the stone. On a third there are four circular cavities of varying dimensions both in breadth and depth. The largest occupies the centre of the stone, and the three others are somewhat circularly disposed around it; but none of these is more than a few inches in diameter.* This is by no means a solitary instance of several cavities having been excavated on the same stone; for, at the Bride Stones, near Todmorden, I counted no fewer than thirteen on one block, and eleven on another. It is also worthy of remark that the whole of the basins both here and elsewhere are formed on the flat surfaces of the blocks on which they occur. Their upper surfaces are always parallel with the lamination of the stone. I have met with only one instance where this is apparently not the case; and, even in this doubtful exception, the cavity has been formed on a flat portion of the stone where three converging ridges meet. Not a single basin is found on those blocks which have been placed with their lines of cleavage in a vertical position.
Proceeding along Widdop Moor we find the Grey Stones, the Fold Hole Stones, the Clattering Stones, and the Rigging Stones. The last mentioned have obviously obtained their name from the circumstance of their occupying the “ rig," or ridge of the hills in this locality. Many of these groups contain rock basins of a similar character to those previously described; but they possess no peculiarities of construction to require a more particular notice. Among the Bride Stones, however, there is an immense mass of rock which, with very
I owe my knowledge of the existence of these to Mr. Joseph Whitaker of Burnley.
little modification, might be classed amongst the Rocking Stones. It measures about twenty-five feet in height, is at least twelve feet across its broadest part, and rests on a base only about two feet in diameter. The Todmorden group contains the Hawk Stones, on Stansfield Moor, not far from Stiperden Cross, on the line of the Long Causeway (Roman Road); the Bride Stones, near to Windy Harbour; the Chisley Stones, near to Keelham; and Hoar Law, not far from Ashenhurst Royd and Todmorden. The rock basins on these boulders are very numerous, and of all sizes, from a few inches in diameter and depth to upwards of two feet. On the occasion of my visit the wind was high, and the water in some of the basins in a state of violent oscillation. These circumstances led me to examine the directions of the axes of those basins which were elliptical in form, but they did not appear to follow any regular law. Had the excavation of these basins been wholly due to the action of wind, sand and water, one might have expected that their major axes would have tended generally from west to east, since the prevailing winds in this district are from the west; but I found nothing to warrant such a conclusion. Many of the basins contained large quantities of loose sand and quartz pebbles at the bottom of the water; but in no instance did I observe that the oscillations of the water had communicated a gyratory motion to the sand and quartz. In the deep basins the motion did not disturb the water beyond a very limited depth.
Lastly, taking Gorple (gort, narrow; gor, upper; sanies, Brit.; or gór, blood, A.S.),* as a centre, which lies about five miles to the south-east of Burnley, we find another extensive group of naked rocks and boulders. Close to the solitary
If the two latter furnish the correct derivation, the name is very significant. Gor-ple will then mean the bloody pile. There is no narrow pass here as at Gor-dale Scar in Yorkshire; so that the derivation from gort narrow does not apply. The Gorple Stones, however, do occupy an elevated position with respect to the others; and hence may very appropriately be termed the upper pile. See Spelman's Glossary, and Skinner's Etymologicon, sub voce.
farm house there are the Gorple Stones, so well known to travellers in this wild locality; and at a short distance the Hanging Stones form conspicuous objects in the sombre landscape. On Thistleden Dean there are the Upper, Middle and Lower Whinberry Stones-so named from the "Whinberry" shrubs with which this moor abounds. The Higher and Lower Boggart Stones come next; and these are followed by the Wicken Clough Stones-so called from the abundance of the "wicken" tree, or mountain ash, by which they are surrounded. The Boggart Stones need no explanation. Above Gorple Bottom is another set of grey stones; and these are followed by the Upper, Middle and Lower Hanging Stones, on Shuttleworth Moor. The rock basins here are very numerous and mostly well defined; several of them being almost as perfect as when newly formed. The following list of the cavities in this group will give some idea of their numbers and dimensions; and if those on the whole series of rocks and boulders were similarly tabulated they would require several pages for their enumeration. The lengths, breadths and depths are given in inches from actual measurement; and I am inclined to think that most of those which are now elliptical were once circular. The wear and tear of ages, by means of the disintegration of particles of sand, from the oscillation of water, may have produced the change of form in the upper portions of the basins.