The Logan Rock of Treen

 On a headland a mile south of Treen, in Cornwall, England, on the edge of the cliffs overlooking the English Channel, is a famous Rocking Stone. Despite weighing 80 tons, the rock is so finely balanced on its base that a child can rock it back and forth by applying only slight pressure. Known as Logan's Rock – from the Cornish word 'loging' meaning rocking – it is one of many such balancing rocks found in the county.

It was once believed that moving the stones was the work of human hands, linked to Druidic rituals and religious ceremonies. Legend had it that a person's guilt or innocence could be established by shaking a stone. It was believed that this stone would move at the slightest touch of those with the pure of heart, but it would also wield an immense power if placed upon it by the guilty. As William Mason writes in his dramatic poem Caractacus, – “It moves to the tenderest touch of her whose breast is pure; But to a traitor, no matter what giant's skill may trouble his arm, it is as steadfast as Snowdon's.

In the parish of St. Levan, there is a promontory called Castle Trerin. This cape consists of three distinct groups of rocks. On the western side of the middle group, near the top, lies a very large stone, so evenly spaced, that any hand could move it to and fro; But the ends of its base are at such a distance from each other, and on account of the closeness of the stone on which it props itself, it is so well secured, that it is morally impossible that any lever, or indeed Force, even if applied mechanically, can dislodge it from its present position.

Although the rock is well known locally, it became much more famous throughout Britain in the early 19th century due to the work of one man. The man was Lieutenant Hugh Goldsmith, nephew of the poet Oliver Goldsmith.

In 1824, Goldsmith arrived in Cornwall on the six-gun cutter HMS Nimble, and, hearing about the legend of Logan's Rock, decided to test the theory that the rock was immovable. After finishing his work for the day, Goldsmith took nine men with him to the rock and attempted to remove the stone from the rock with the help of three handspikes. This was unsuccessful and nine men set about moving the stone with such force, so much so that Goldsmith became concerned that it might fall on them. The order to stop them came too late and the stone bounced off its peak and fell a few feet, fortunately not into the sea, where it would have been lost forever, but into a narrow crevice.

Once news of Goldsmith's foolishness reached the townspeople, there was an uproar. Logan Rock was a popular tourist attraction in the area and many families started living outside this tourist attraction. A local politician named Sir Richard Vivian vowed that he would 'prosecute the culprit with all his might' and residents pressured the British Admiralty to remove Lieutenant Goldsmith from the Royal Navy commission unless he returned to Boulder at his own expense. Was not restored to its previous position. 

Shocked by her sharp reaction, Goldsmith told this to his mother in a letter dated 24 April. He wrote: “I did not know that this rock was so venerated in this neighbourhood, and you can imagine my surprise when I found the whole of Penzance in upheaval. I had to bid at least for transportation; The newspapers have said this about me, and have made me look worse than a murderer, and the baseless lies they contain are worse than evil.”

Fortunately, Goldsmith was supported by the renowned engineer and politician Davis Gilbert, who persuaded the Admiralty to provide the equipment free of charge and also donated £25 himself to restore the stone to its original location. . The cost of labor and other expenses had to be borne by the goldsmith, which ultimately totaled £130, a large sum in those days, especially for a man of little means.

After months of preparation, work began on October 29, 1824, and by the afternoon of November 2, in front of thousands of spectators and with the help of more than sixty people, Logan Rock was carefully hoisted back onto the rock and reinstalled. Its place of origin. However, it was reported that the stone no longer moved as easily as it used to. The late Cornish historian Craig Weatherhill claimed that the rock would begin to move with a series of rhythmic bounces against the south-western corner, after which the motion could be continued by efforts of a hand.

After this, for some time the rock was kept chained and locked so that the incident would not happen again but eventually these restrictions were removed and the rock was freed. The anchor holes used to pull the giant rock back into place are still visible in the surrounding rocks.

Goldsmith repaid the loan with interest shortly before his death. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 1809 but never further. He continued to command small vessels until his death at sea in 1841.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.