Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Vanishing Rock (c.NU245230)

Among the rocky protuberances in and around Embleton Bay lies a famous lump of sandstone known as ‘The Vanishing Rock’. As the tides come and go and the sands shift to and fro, so this feature moves into and out of view, as befitting its name. Nothing unusual in that, you may think; but this particular rock has the name “Andra Barton” (among others) chiselled into its surface, in rough but distinct lettering. Sir Andrew Barton was High Admiral of Scotland around the turn of the 16th century, who, acting under the protection and in the name of the Scottish Crown, made something of a nuisance of himself to the Portuguese and the English upon the high seas. In short, he was considered a pirate by non-Scots, or a privateer, at best. He was defeated in battle with the English in 1511 – some reports have him slain in the fight, others that he was captured and beheaded. The loss of Barton did not go down well with the Scots – one of many grievances which led, eventually to the clash at Flodden in 1513.

As for the ‘Vanishing Rock’, I shouldn’t rush to Embleton’s sandy expanse hoping to catch a glimpse. For the last time it was seen was in 1974.

1 comment:

  1. I am just typing up the life history of my aunt who lives in Embleton, and she states the rock was exposed in October 1985.

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