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Parliament Rock

Hidden : 09/30/2007
Difficulty:
2.5 out of 5
Terrain:
2 out of 5

Size: Size: small (small)

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Geocache Description:

Take time out to visit this fascinating feature.

For the best part of four hundred years the Great Court or Parliament of the Stannaries used to meet here at irregular intervals to review operations, dispense justice, and make laws. The Lord Warden would convene the court, summoning twenty four representatives from each stannary district. These were based at Tavistock, Chagford, Ashburton and Plympton. At any meeting therefore over a hundred men might have been present. Tradition has it that the Lord Warden had his seat on one of the great steps up the side of Parliament Rock, and that clerks and stannators would sit in session below, either on the greensward or on some of the huge slabs which still remain propped up on smaller boulders. It is assumed that this place was chosen because of its central position on Dartmoor. Sessions were not very frequent. The laws the Parliament made tended to be harsh and selfish, though towards the end, as tin production and the stannary system declined during the 18th century, some regard had to be paid towards the well being of the rest of the world. The last meeting for which records exist was 1703. Among the more famous of the Lords Warden was Sir Walter Raleigh, who presided here in the year 1600.

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