This page contains snippets of gossip, information and legend about these places in and around the Roaches......
Read more on the BBC website. Lollards
"About 1862 the landowner, Philip Brocklehurst of Swythamley, in Heaton, placed a ship's figurehead in the form of a woman at the entrance of the ravine. It was apparently intended to commemorate the supposed martyrdom of the daughter of a Lollard preacher, and it was still there in 1914."
The person hugging the figurehead in the picture is a relative of the photographer.
This picture was provided by Rose Robinson
The sun doesn't get far into Lud's Church. This is evidenced by snow being taken from Lud's Church down to Leek Marketplace on the 17th July and that there were a hundred bags more if people wanted it, this was prior to 1696 as it is noted in Chapter 4 par 41 of The Natural History of Staffordshire by Robert Plot (1696).
There is conjecture that Lud Church may be the setting, "the Green Chapel", of the epic Arthurian poem from the 1400s "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight". This poem is on a single manuscript and was not rediscovered until the 1800s. The poet is unknown but it is written in a dialect which places him in the vicinity of Leek and could have been a monk at the, now ruined, Dieulacres Abbey at Abbey Green on the northern outskirts of Leek, Staffordshire.
You can read more about the poem here and here.
There was a televison programme about the poem presented by Simon Armitage, who has written a book on the poem.
This weird rock formation can be seen from the Leek- Buxton road (A53) about 5miles outside Leek. It is part of Ramshaw rocks. It looks like a face sticking out of the hillside. As you travel past in a car the 'eye' appears to wink as a pinacle of rock passes behind the face as a consequence of parallax.
You can get to the rock formation by driving from Leek towards Buxton on the A53. After about 3 miles you pass through Blackshaw moor with the Threehorseshoes Inn on your left. Continue on up the steep hill known as Cat Torr, when the gradient eases you come to a house on the left which used to be a toll point - turn left here. Park sensibly towards the top of the hill. Walk across the heath under the rocks parallel with the A53 until you reach the Winking Man.
Below is a quote from A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 7:
"In the late 1560s Thomas Gent of Upper Hulme built
a mill on Back brook, upstream from Hulme mill. In 1599 there was a complaint
from the owners of Hulme mill that Gent's mill took water from their mill
and drew some of its trade, (fn. 9) and Gent's mill was evidently demolished.
In 1600 his grandson William Gent let the site to two brothers, John and
William Hind, and the mill had been rebuilt by 1602. (fn. 10) The tenant
in 1610 was Robert Deane, (fn. 11) and the mill was known in the 18th
century as Deans (later Danes or Dains) mill. (fn. 12) It stopped working
c. 1946. (fn. 13)"
From: 'Leek: Leekfrith', A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 7: Leek and the Moorlands (1996), pp. 191-202. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=22915&strquery=meerbrook. Date accessed: 16 February 2007.
Access to the mill can be made on foot from the ford at Upperhulme by walking up the steep concrete track between the Old smithy and Brook Cottages. Please park away from the village as access to the factories is required often with large vehicles.
On access land on the north west slopes of the Roaches is an artifact of the quarrying which was a major industry in the valley. This small building - now with no roof- is thought to be a workman's hut and also to be an exercise for the apprentices who were being educated at the quarry. Within living memory the roof was still on and of heather.
The slabs of stone involved are huge and it makes you wonder how the lads lifted and moved them without the assistance of machines.
My grandson thinks the hut was built by trolls who else would be able to lift such heavy weights!!
The following are extracts from "Answers.com" on the life of the Princess
By the age of 30, Mary Adelaide (as she was known) was still unmarried. Her unattractive appearance and lack of income were contributing factors, as was her advanced age. However her royal rank prevented her marrying someone not of royal blood. Her cousin Queen Victoria took pity on her, and attempted to arrange pairings.
Eventually a suitable candidate was found in Württemberg, Prince
Francis, Prince of Teck. The Prince was of lower rank than Mary Adelaide, and was also the product
of a morganatic marriage and had no succession rights to the throne of
Württemberg, but was at least of princely title and of royal blood.
However with no other options available, Mary Adelaide decided to marry
him. The couple were married on 12 June 1866, at Kew Church, Surrey.
Despite their modest income, Mary Adelaide had expensive tastes and lived an extravagant lifestyle of parties, expensive food and clothes, and holidays abroad. The debts soon built up and the Tecks were forced to flee the country in 1883 to avoid their creditors.
The Tecks returned from exile in 1885 and continued to live at White Lodge in Richmond. Mary Adelaide began devoting her life to charity, serving as patron to Barnardo's and other children's charities.
In 1891, Mary Adelaide was keen for her daughter, Princess Victoria Mary of Teck (known as May) to marry one of the sons of the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII. On the other hand, Queen Victoria wanted a British-born bride for the future king, though of course from royal rank and ancestry - and not some "lowly" noblewoman. Mary Adelaide's daughter fulfilled the rank criteria. After Queen Victoria's approval, May became engaged to the second in line to the British throne, Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence. The death of the Duke of Clarence only six weeks later looked like a cruel blow. However, Queen Victoria was fond of Princess May and persuaded the Duke of Clarence's brother, and next in the line of succession, Prince George, Duke of York to marry her instead. (He became George V)
The marriage of May into the top rankings of the royal family, led to
a dramatic revival in the fortunes of the Tecks, with their daughter one
day to be Queen consort. Unfortunately Mary Adelaide never saw her daughter's
coronation as Queen. Mary Adelaide died on 27 October 1897 at White Lodge,
Richmond Park, Surrey, and was buried in the royal vault at St. George's
Francis(the Prince of Teck) died on January 21, 1900 at White Lodge. He was buried next to his wife in the Royal Vault at St. George's Chapel, Windsor.
This is an actual photo from 1872 recording the visit of the Teck's to the Roaches. To enlarge click on the image. See also this entry in "The Graphic" magazine from 1872.
There's some pretty old graffiti too!
The Rock is extra special not just for it's weird aspect but because it has two inscriptions one for a much loved dog and the other for Lt Col Courtney Brocklehurst - the man responsible for the presence of the wallabies on the Roaches.
The inscription for the dog is professionally carved into the rock and
The squire obviously loved his dog!
The other inscription is a plaque with an epitaph to the Lt Colonel and a poem in the handwriting of Courntney's brother Philip Brocklehurst. The inscription reads---
LT COL HENRY COURTNEY BROCKLEHURST 10TH ROYAL HUSSARS
AND PILOT IN THE ROYAL FLYING CORPS 1916-1918
GAME WARDEN OF THE SUDAN
BORN AT SWYTHAMLEY MAY 27TH 1888
KILLED ON ACTIVE SERVICE IN BURMA
ON COMMANDO JUNE 1942
"Horses he loved and laughter,
the sun, with spaces and the open air.
The trust of all dumb living things he won and never knew the luck too good to share.
His were the simple heart and open hand and honest faults he never strove to hide.
Problems of life he could not understand but as a man would wish to die, he died.
Now though he will not ride with us again, his merry spirit seems our comrade yet,
Freed from the power of weariness and pain, forbidding us to mourn or to forget....
Erected by his devoted brother 1949"
Obviously Courtney was an adventerer as was his brother Philip. Unfortunately the epitaph to the dog looks as though it will outlast that of the soldier even with the 75 year head start.
However the owner died and the wreck went up for sale by auction -15th July 2008. Guide price £40,000. Agents Whittaker and Biggs Leek.
The property went for £122,000!!! - this is with no water, electric or land and a fight with the Peak Park as reoccupation will be subject to planning permission. At the same auction a livable stone cottage with a barn down the road in UpperHulme went for only £190,000.
The Mount Pleasant has now been renovated and is now a holiday cottage.
The stone is located at 53.154852deg latitude, -1.989527deg longitude. Directions-take the path from Roaches gate to Hen Cloud after about 300m go through the gate in the wall with Hen cloud facing you. Go across the field and through the next gate. The Bawdstone is to your left about 50m away.