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Maiden's Step, Langwathby
Maiden's Step
locality:-   Bramery Bank
locality:-   Eamont, River
civil parish:-   Langwathby (formerly Cumberland)
county:-   Cumbria
locality type:-   rocks
coordinates:-   NY56043028 (roughly) 
1Km square:-   NY5630
10Km square:-   NY53

evidence:-   old map:- OS County Series (Cmd 59 2) 
placename:-  Maiden's Step
source data:-   Maps, County Series maps of Great Britain, scales 6 and 25 inches to 1 mile, published by the Ordnance Survey, Southampton, Hampshire, from about 1863 to 1948.
"[Maiden's Step]"

evidence:-   old text:- Clarke 1787
placename:-  Maiden's Step
item:-  virgin prisoners
source data:-   Guide book, A Survey of the Lakes of Cumberland, Westmorland, and Lancashire, written and published by James Clarke, Penrith, Cumberland, and in London etc, 1787; published 1787-93.
image CL13P017, button  goto source
Page 17:-  "..."
"Torquin, or Torquinas, (as some call him,) having stolen several virgins, conveyed them to this dismal mansion [Giant's Cave, Langwathby], where he kept them close prisoners. One of them, however, found means to escape along the side of the rock: in her road she was obliged to step over a hideous gap a yard and a half wide; a rugged, craggy rock over-hanging her head, so as scarcely to allow room to stand upright, and a perpendicular descent of 48 feet underneath: the sides of the rock are such as could afford no hold to her hand, and the boiling and rapidity of the impetuous torrent which roars beneath, are enough to confuse the calmest and most intrepid. Notwithstanding these horrors and difficulties, she preserved and effected her escape, and to this day the place has retained the name of the Maiden's Step."

evidence:-   old text:- Gents Mag
source data:-   Magazine, The Gentleman's Magazine or Monthly Intelligencer or Historical Chronicle, published by Edward Cave under the pseudonym Sylvanus Urban, and by other publishers, London, monthly from 1731 to 1922.
image G7910990, button  goto source
Gentleman's Magazine 1791 p.990  "... I will venture to give at least an imperfect description of another curiosity ... called The Giant's Cave. ... A narrow path led us a little further to a chasm in the rock: this is called The Maiden's Step, from the traditionary account of the escape of a beautiful virgin from the hands of Torquin the giant, who, after exercising upon all occasions every species of bru-"

evidence:-   old text:- Gents Mag 1791
source data:-   image G7910991, button  goto source
Gentleman's Magazine 1791 p.991  "[bru]tality and depredation within his reach, retreated to this strong hold. This step is not so wide as to exceed the bounds of credibility; but the difficulty of escape afterwards arises from the most horrible situation any one must be in, every moment, by scrambling up a steep ascent upon the very edge of a naked precipice, with scarcely the appearance of security for either hand or foot: notwithstanding, to succeed in the attempt I am convinced is not impossible, especially where life or death are the alternatives. ..."

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