The Devil’s Boulder of Great How

A spare few hours. Decided to explore Baldersdale to the north west of Barnard Castle in the Pennines. The valley contains three reservoirs which looked interesting. At the head stood a distinctive hill top, Shacklesborough. At 454m high not significant but its flat top begged for a visit. (It’s in the distance in the photo). But Shacklesborough is surrounded by pathless moorland, a variety of grasses and rushes with a sprinkling of sphagnum moss. No crags or boulders to break the monotony. But then crossing the small ring contour of Great How at 382m I came across this boulder. All on its own, no other rock outcrop in sight. And sometime in prehistory it’s been split neatly into two like the cloven hoof of a goat. I quoted Donkey to myself from the film Shrek “I like that boulder. That is a NICE boulder”.

A boulder of such distinction must have had a name so back at base I looked up the largest scale map I could find on the internet. Not even shown. It’s surely worthy of a name, so as a cloven hoof is associated with the devil I hereby name this boulder, The Devil’s Boulder.

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