Geologists say the split in the rock by Polperro was caused by movement in a fault or to put it simply, an earthquake but our elders know better.
There was a time when Polperro counted the Devil amongst its inhabitants. He chose the slate behind the village of Polperro as a place to hide by day. As darkness fell this was an ideal area to ride out in the wilds unnoticed by the families exhausted by their day's farming or fishing far out at sea.
One night, as he rose from his lair on a small black cart, his red eyes flaming and his smelly cloak flapping, the Devil appeared so frightening that the rock gave way before him with a mighty split and quiver. As the rock split it left a tear that would never heal, evidence of his ghastly residence. The Devil's horse responded with a wild triumph and reared up masterful of the quaking earth. As the horse's hooves crashed down onto the rock the force created a lasting impression, leaving behind a hoof like pool.
retold by Anna Chorlton