One route into the mendip hills

Rock of Ages – Burrington Combe

Posted by on Aug 11, 2016 in Travel, UK Landmarks and Visitor Sights

I pass through the beautiful Mendip Hills in somerset quite frequently but this time stopped to photograph the cleft in a rock face that was the inspiration for the hymn ‘Rock of Ages’.


The Rock of Ages is just to the right
Photo by G Pollard/Films.Gb

There’s a cleft or large fissure in the rock face to the right that’s said to have given shelter to the Reverend Augustus Montague Toplady during a severe storm of 1763. He was a preacher in the nearby village of Blagdon and was caught out in the rain on this route, where, presumably with a bit of time on his hands to contemplate the meaning of life he scribbled the initial lyrics down.


The fissure – which is very evident in the picture below is now marked with anengraving on the nearby rock face.

Rock of Ages cleft

The cleft in the rock that gave shelter and inspiration for the Hymn Rock of Ages
Photo by G Pollard/Films.Gb

Rock of Ages

Inspiration for the well known hymn
Photo by G Pollard/Films.Gb


Whether its’ strictly true or not – it’s still great tale, and reminds me a bit of the one about Robert the Bruce and the Spider…..