The Bawdstone stands between Hen Cloud and The Roaches. It is one of many stones around the Peak District that have magical powers, and its curative properties can be compared with those of the Pots and Pans on Saddleworth Moor. Sick people used to crawl under the Bawdstone to be cured; the narrow gap would push the Devil off their backs. Indeed, you might be cured of your ills merely by touching the stone. It was once whitewashed on Beltane (1st May), and until well into the 20th century it was the site of a regular pilgrimage from Leek.
Some people have supposed this stone to be the remains of a Neolithic tomb (a ‘dolmen’). Others suppose it to have been an altar, since the morpheme ‘Bawd’ might be derived from the Welsh for ‘table’. A ley line is alleged to pass through it, and at sunrise on the Spring Equinox it is aligned with the Serpent Stone on Ramshaw Rocks.
See Byron Machin (2018) The Folklore of the Staffordshire Moorlands, Seven Stones Publishing, p. 74.