The Raising of Logan Rock

In Cornwall we have a special kind of geological feature that through history has given the Cornish folks bucket loads of joy.  It is the natural phenomena known as the Logan Rock.

The word Logan comes from the Cornish ‘logging’, meaning rocking. and refers to a number of rocks which through some a happy accident are on a pivot and can be rocked despite their mighty tonnage.

The most famous of Cornwall’s logan rocks is at Treen on a stunning stretch of coastline close to the famous Minack Theatre.  It is reputed to weigh around 60 tons but because of its perfect pivot could be rocked by a small child.  Of course there is a kill-joy in this tale and his name was Lieutenant Hugh Goldsmith, R.N. (nephew of the famous poet Oliver Golsmith).

In April 1824 Goldsmith was on a jolly with the navy just off the Cornish coast and apparently they heard tell of the legend that no mortal man could dislodge the rock from its axis.  Goldsmith and 14 crew decided to test the theory.  After several hours of struggling with iron bars they succeeded in tumbling the stone from its position.

The crew had however underestimated the importance of what they had done, the people of the area were understandably furious at this act of vandalism. Goldsmith wrote to his mother on 24th April 1824 saying “the Rock was so idolized in this neighbourhood . . . I found all Penzance in an uproar. I was to be transported at least; the newspapers have traduced me, and made me worse than a murderer, and the base falsehoods in them are more than wicked”.   He was soon reported to the Admiralty and told to replace the stone immediately.

logan rock
Logan Rock taken with my Brownie


This was not an easy undertaking and it took several months to organise the necessary equipment but the Royal Cornwall Gazette reported on 6th November 1824 that crowds of people had watching the Logan Rock being hoisted back into position and a great cheer went up when it was seen to rock.


Although the stone was replaced apparently it never rocked the same again.  This is a stretch of coastline that is well worth a visit and if you have a head for heights climb up to the Logan Rock and try it for yourself!

For more rocky tales try: Crantock’s hidden rock carvings & a name for a mystery lady

coastline towards Porthcurno


5 thoughts on “The Raising of Logan Rock

  1. Anne Guy April 30, 2016 / 11:01 am

    Thanks for this post…I had forgotten about Logan’s Rock until recently when I drove past the pub at Treen…I haven’t seen the rock for years I must pay it another visit next month when I am next down in Cornwall

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alex May 1, 2016 / 2:20 pm

    We repeated one of our favourite walks last weekend and it included views of Logans Rock……we took a friend who’s not been before and she loved it down there. I shared your blog post about it with her and she enjoyed reading as much as I did. Thanks from both of us. Keep up the posts!!!!! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • esdale77 May 1, 2016 / 2:38 pm

      Thank you that’s lovely, I am really happy that you are enjoying reading them! 🙂


  3. Kay. May 3, 2016 / 6:41 pm

    Ooh, we were camping at Treen last week and had a lovely evening in the Logan Rock Inn, now I understand the name (though not sure if we knowingly saw the rock? The coastline is spectacular around there though so we will definitely be going back.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. janthinajourneys May 16, 2016 / 8:07 am

    Interesting to read this and I remember Logan Rock from Cornish holidays of yore. I saw some Logan Rock ‘cousins’ on the Penninis headland on St Mary’s. They are fascinating and I like the way they change their morphological aspect as you walk around them.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s