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Viewing website implies consent to set cookies on your computer. Full details Swaledale and Arkengarthdale Archaeology Group
Registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation Number 1155775
SWAAG Honorary President:
Tim Laurie FSA

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 *****SWAAG_ID***** 731
 Date Entered 24/06/2013
 Updated on 24/06/2013
 Recorded by Will Swales
 Category Geological Record
 Record Type Geological HER
 Site Access Public Access Land
 Record Date 20/06/2013
 Location Grinton Gill
 Civil Parish Grinton
 Brit. National Grid SE 043 977
 Altitude 260m
 Geology Carboniferous sandstone feature
 Record Name John Moss's Chair
 Record Description John Moss’s Chair is a name marked on the OS Explorer map just west of Grinton Gill, but the map gives to no clue to what it is or exactly where it is. Fortunately the OS 25-inch map of 1912 is more specific and marks its location very precisely, deep in the cut of Grinton Gill.

It can be reached easily via the bridleway that runs westwards from Grinton Lodge Youth Hostel and then, where it crosses the gill, by following the unmarked footpath downstream on the east side of the water. After less than 100 metres, a rather obvious, large rock outcrop becomes clearly visible on the opposite side of the gill. The front elevation is about three metres square, and it seems to have four legs. It looks like a giant’s chair. Thanks to John Russell for pointing out that the rock is carboniferous sandstone.

But who was John Moss? The name goes back to before 1857 when John Moss’s Chair was marked on the first OS map published in that year. The OS surveyors gathered their information from local people. What did they say? Was he a mythical giant who people once believed lived in the gill or on the moor above? Or was the rock named as a joke, after a local man who was very big?

See also Nanny Ward's Well at Record 732
 Image 1 ID 4485         Click image to enlarge
 Image 1 Description John Moss's Chair - a natural rock feature that looks like a giant's chair
 Image 2 ID 4486         Click image to enlarge
 Image 2 Description The view from atop John Moss's Chair looking down Grinton Gill
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