Never dare the British navy. Logan Rock, in Cornwall, had been famous as a “rocking stone” — the 80-ton boulder was “obsequious to the gentlest touch” but stood “as fixt as Snowdon,” in the words of poet William Mason.
Lt. Hugh Goldsmith apparently took that as a challenge, and in April 1824 he led the crew of HMS Nimble in tumbling the boulder from its clifftop perch.
His satisfaction was short-lived, however. Outraged at the loss of a tourist attraction, the local residents insisted that Goldsmith restore the stone, and six months later Logan Rock was hauled back to its perch, balanced — and chained in place.