Cock Crowing Stone, Meltham

The Cock Crowing Stone is situated next to Wessenden Head Road on the flanks of West Nab above Meltham.


The term "cock crowing stone" is usually given to standing stones with folklore attached. For example, the stone might rotate at the sound of a cock crowing on a specific day of the year, or it might be standing on top of a treasure hoard and can be easily lifted under certain circumstances.[1]

However, according to local naturalist Seth Lister Mosley, the naming of the Meltham stone was more straightforward:[2]

There is a large stone, with a pointed top, between West Nab and the Isle of Skye road, on which a cock grouse is said to perch every morning to crow; it is known as the Cock-crowing-stone.

It should also be noted that both West Nab and the nearby Iron Age enclosure at Oldfield Hill were visited by local archaeological and topographical societies in the mid-to-late 19th century, yet seemingly none of them recorded the existence of the stone. Similarly, it is not mentioned in Philip Ahier's The Legends and Traditions of Huddersfield and Its District despite the author detailing the folklore attached to West Nab.

Although the stone is not marked on any historic Ordnance Survey maps, it is sited close to an old sandstone quarry marked on the 1854 map and may have been erected to mark the location of the path to the quarry. Alternatively, it may have been erected to mark the location of the permissive path to the submit of West Nab.

In recent years, the Church of St. Bartholomew have held an annual dawn service at the site on Easter Sunday.

Further Reading


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Notes and References

  1. The folklore often has a hint of a practical joke to fool the gullible, as it usually requires a person to be stood by the stone at an early hour of the day.
  2. An Account of the Birds of the Huddersfield District (1915) by Seth Lister Mosley.