There is a very strange rock on Otley Chevin. The Chevin is a large escarpment overlooking the market town of Otley in Yorkshire. In fact it dominates it, being visible from all over the town looking Southwards.

Otley Chevin in the middle distance, taken at dawn from Burley moor. The market town of Otley is in the valley bottom covered in mist.

It is an odd stone – sat high on the very top of the outcrop of rocks on the peak of the escarpment. A large bowl is cut in the middle of the rock and a channel is cut from the bowl leading down to the bottom of the rocks. The whole carving looks like a large frying pan. It is definitely man made. Whoever carved it must have been very patient, it being carved in ‘rock hard’ millstone grit.

The Devils Frying Pan

The Devils Frying Pan

I have asked some of my archaeology friends and no one seems to know what it is. It may be modern, but it could just as well be ancient. The Chevin is a big landmark, and the moors surrounding the Chevin are covered in ancient carvings, tombs and stone circles. There are some strange markings around the bowl which (to me) look like Neolithic markings – but they are not in any website or antiquarian book that I have found…

The rocky outcrop of The Chevin, with the Devils Frying Pan and Otley below

The rocky outcrop of The Chevin, with the Devils Frying Pan

We were told by one of our teachers whilst at school that it was called ‘The Devils Frying Pan’ and that it was a Druids alter where human sacrifices were carried out.

As I can’t find anything out about it, I’ll go with that 🙂