Logan Rock is a massive 80-ton granite monster that used to actually rock in the wind. The most famous of Cornwall’s “Logan” or “Logging” (rocking) stones, the rock, balanced precariously on the cliffs overlooking Porthcurno Beach, was famed for its ability to rock gently back and forth with the slightest touch.
Until a couple doofuses came along and ruined it all.
In 1824 a group of (bored? crazy? gormless?) sailors from the Royal Navy cutter, Nimble, and under the leadership of one Lieutenant Hugh Goldsmith, decided to disprove the assertion that no mortal man could dislodge the rock. The hapless seamen succeeded in tipping the rock down the cliff and into the sea.
And boy the hue and cry that went up from the locals, who banded together and forced the British Admiralty to make amends and Put That Rock Back.
Goldsmith wrote to his mother on 24th April 1824 saying,
The Admiralty ordered Goldsmith to return the rock to its former position at Goldsmith’s own expense. At a cost of over £130 it almost bankrupt the young lieutenant.
Hoisting the rock back up took several months just to organize the necessary equipment. According to the Royal Cornwall Gazette, on November 6, 1824 crowds of people watched the Logan Rock being hoisted back into position and a great cheer went up when it was seen to rock.
Unfortunately, the easily rocking nature was lost forever and today it takes much more force to move the rock.
The morning of our hike from Lamorna past the Logan Rock Betsy and I had determined to scale the cliff to get as close as we could to the rock. After hiking for a few hours though, and realizing how far out and up we would have to go to reach the rock, we chickened out and went to the pub instead.