Popping Stone Quote from Arthur's Guide to Carlisle, 1877.


At the end of our walk we stop at a boulder stone which, from its worn appearance, seems to be an object of special attention. It has been stood upon and sat upon, and so chipped and maltreated generally, that we are sure it is a stone of no ordinary kind. And yet in what consists its attraction ? It is not the remnant of a Druidicial circle, it has no Roman or Scandinavian lettering upon it - nay, it has not even the initials of the modern roving Englishman. Then what is it ? Let us whisper - ! "Now that's too bad your teasing me this way !" True, every word of it ! This is really called the Popping Stone - the tradition being that young Walter Scott, having led his fair companion up this lovely glen, became so lost amid so many of Nature's beauties, that he fairly "popped the question" on this identical stone. "Then I'll sit too," you say ? By all means - and we hope with a similar result. You see that spreading hawthorn tree ? Well, tradition also says that the compact was sealed under its sheltering boughs by the first - What is it ? Sam Slick calls it a sublime mystery, being neither visible nor tangible, portable nor transferable; nevertheless it pervades all nature, is as old as creation, and as young and fresh as ever; it electrifies you, warms your blood, and makes your eyes twinkle; its aroma can't be imitated or forged, but can be reproduced an infinitude of times. Mystery though it is, you have guessed before now what it is, - and perhaps been engaged in the making of it ! The hawthorn is well adapted for experimenting in this branch of natural philosophy.