|The Roaches, Peak District National Park|
Photographed April 2011
We left home in drizzle (the weather forecast had been good right up until this morning) but it stopped before we arrived.
The parking spaces on the road below Hen Cloud and the Roaches (which is not the road in the photo above) have been the start of several walks over the years and the Roaches have appeared in this blog before (A Republican Ramble Round the Ramshaw Rocks, 2011).
|Ready to depart on the road below the Roaches|
With the long drive, and Alison coming all the way from Cheltenham it was almost 10.30 before we started
|Gently graded path up the Roaches|
|Up through the woods, the Roaches|
|Nearing the top of the ridge, the Roaches|
Once on the ridge, there is a long but gentle rise towards the highest point. The ridge is an airy place - so airy, in fact, I had difficulty holding the camera still taking these shots.
Along the Roaches Ridge
Tittesworth Reservoir with Leek at the far end
The Cheshire Plain with The Cloud (left side, half way up) and Jodrell Bank (level with The Cloud, two thirds of the way across
The trig point on the Roaches
|Descending along the Roaches ridge|
|Coffee behind a wall|
Before reaching the trees we had a distant view of Shutlingsloe. One metre higher than the Roaches, it consists of layers of mudstone and limestone topped with a sloping cap of Chatsworth Grit. The summit was the main objective of Cowpat 5.
|Through Back Forest|
|Entering Lud's Church|
Unsurprisingly, such a noticeable feature has been fancifully connected with a variety of characters some legendary, like Robin Hood, and others real like Bonnie Prince Charlie. Imaginative derivations of the name are also legion. Most likely, there is a connection, both physical and linguistic, with the Lollards, the followers of the 14th century philosopher and religious reformer John Wycliffe, who would have needed a place of refuge. Wycliffe produced an English translation of the bible in the 1380s when such an action was radical, indeed heretical. 'Lollard' is drive from a Middle Dutch word meaning 'mumbler', and was a sneering reference to those with a little learning, but no knowledge of the classics (like a lot of us today).
|Out of the woods and over the lower part of the ridge|
|Looking back to the Roaches|
|Across a field of sheep - there were sheep, honest. They were just camera shy.|
|Down to the River Dane|
|Across the Dane Bridge at Danebridge|
I enjoyed my pulled pork with hoisin sauce in ciabatta, but I was not the only one to find the beers, from the Greater Manchester brewery of J W Lees, lacklustre. We had passed the Wincle micro-brewery on our way up from the river and it seemed a shame that The Ship could stock none of their beer.
After our late start it was nearer three than two before we headed back down to the bridge. Unusually for Staffordshire rivers (even if on the border) the Dane heads not for the Trent and the east coast, but continues westward through Cheshire until joining the River Weaver at Northwich. The Weaver flowed into the Mersey until 1887 when the Manchester Ship Canal was built, and it now enters the canal at Runcorn dock.
|The River Dane|
At Danebridge chapel we took a path back up through the woods. At the fork the left route was obvious, the right more hidden, and that was the one we wanted. After a little backtracking we found our way to a house marked on the map as ‘Snipe’….
|Up towards Snipe|
|Across the Swythamley Estate|
|It was not all field paths|
|Up a cow-pocked field to Roche Grange|
|The lane from Roche Grange - steeper than the photo makes it look|
|Along the road below the Roaches and back to the car|