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Pots and Pans

Pots and Pans above Greenfield, was once thought to have been a Druid place of worship, and old maps mark the site of a 'Druid's Altar'. Just where the Druid's Altar was is unclear, but it is generaly believed to be the rounded depressions found on top of the giant boulders of Millstone grit (the actual pots and pans) on the crest of the hill.

Those blessed with a vivid imagination suggest that they were used to catch the blood of sacrificial victims. The rounded depressions are very similar to those in Bullawn (Bullaun) stones found in Ireland and Scotland, on which offerings would be placed to the fairies. It is possible that these served a similar function in the distant past, but of course this is pure conjecture. Traditionally the water from the pans (the depressions) was thought to have healing properties, especially for eye disorders, how far this goes back is difficult to say, but it does add some weight to the theory that the place was special to our ancestors.

While researching the area I have heard other theories to account for the depressions, some say that they are natural formed by weathering, although they are quite large, and look like they have been artificially widened. Someone also suggested that Gamekeepers widened natural depressions in the 19th and early 20th century so that they could be filled with wine during grouse shoots. This seems unlikely, and a waste of good wine to my mind.

Modern pagans may use the site for worship; we discovered offerings here after a major festival in the Celtic Calendar.

A footpath leads to Pots and Pans from Knowl Top, on a minor road from Uppermill.

Daniel Parkinson

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