I was brought here by my maternal grandfather about fifty years ago on a summer Sunday because he was a lay preacher who joined a trio of Methodist ministers who had gathered with what seemed to be hundreds of adherents to Mark some obscure anniversary or other. There were lots of families but mostly old people in dark Sunday best clothes and much singing and praying. I have a vague memory of a foot pedal harmonium but am sure there was also some a cappella singing with robust rustic voices and for me, strange descants. I remember lots of hats, almost all the adult men wearing black or grey trilbys and demob suits. It was quite a stern, no smiles experience. I went back this summer and was surprised that the 'pit' itself was little changed, but that some of the entrance area and around the outside seemed to be different. Looking back, I am surprised that so many people over the preceding century and much longer could afford to travel to this area from all over the county. If you have a feel for the dour but persistent nonconformist practices and history of the county, then this place has to ne visited, preferably when some thing is going on.
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