Hen Cloud & The Roaches

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The roaches & Hen Cloud is one of the most popular walks within the White peak area of the national park. It lies near to the town of Leek and is a steep climb to 505m. You can park along the road without problem however it gets busy within the summer months so arrive early (click here for parking). This walk was very long at about 12 miles with a lot of steep climbs and uneven surfaces, also the humidity was extremely high and the woods along the route become very uncomfortable. A small walk from the car took us to the top of Hen cloud, it is said that you can see snowdon from the top however we could not see it, but thats not to say it is not true. We headed North west from the top and headed along the ridge walk to the Roaches, the top was full of the usual gritstone formations we have seen on many of our walks in the dark peak area, however this far south it does seem to be a little less wild and rugged. There are some great rock formations like one we saw called hanging stone (streetmap) on the back forrest ridge, there are a couple of inscriptions on the rock one is for a well loved dog called Burke and the other is for Lt Col Courtney Brocklehurst please have a look at this site for further information. This was a great walk but be prepared for a long day, it was great training for team madison before we hit Ben Nevis in September. The highlight of the trip was Luds Church, Lud's Church (sometimes written as Ludchurch) is a deep chasm penetrating theMillstone Grit bedrock created by a massive landslip on the hillside above Gradbach, Staffordshire, England. It is located in a wood known as Back Forest, in the White Peak, towards the southwest fringe of the Peak District National Parkabout 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) west of the A53 between Leek and Buxton. Over 100 metres (328.1 ft) long and 18 metres (59.1 ft) deep, it is mossy and overgrown, wet and cool even on the hottest of days.
It is believed that the chasm was considered by early Pagans to be a sacred place, most likely due to the phenomenon that occurs on Midsummer Day, where only on this day does the sun's light penetrate deep into the chasm.[1] Lud, known as Nud in Welsh, or Nodens by the ancient Britons, is a major Celtic deity associated with many parts of Britain and with the Arthurian Fisher King and, by way of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the Green Man.
The area also has a place in Christian history: the
Lollards, who were followers ofJohn Wycliffe, an early church reformer, are supposed to have used this as a secret place of worship during the early 15th century, when they were being persecuted for their religious beliefs.[2] Lud's Church may have been named after Walter de Ludank or Walter de Lud-Auk who was captured here at one of their meetings.[2][3] A wooden ship's figurehead from the ship Swythamley formerly stood in a high niche above the chasm, placed there by Philip Brocklehurst, then the landowner, around 1862. It was called 'Lady Lud' and was supposed to commemorate the death of the daughter of a Lollard preacher.[3][4]
A number of climbing routes up the sides of the chasm were pioneered during the 20th century but climbing is now discouraged so as to protect the lower plants that have colonised the damp rock-faces
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From Wikipedia
The Roaches
(from the French les roches - the rocks) is the name given to a prominent rocky ridge situated above Leek and Tittesworth Reservoir in thePeak District of England. The ridge with its spectacular rock formations rises steeply to 505 m (1,657 ft).
Along with
Ramshaw Rocks and Hen Cloud they form a gritstone escarpment, which is very popular with hikers, rock climbers and freerunners. It is often very busy especially at weekends. The local mountain rescue team is a regular attendee to this popular crag.
The Roaches Estate which includes Hen Cloud was purchased by the
Peak District National Park Authority in the 1980s to safeguard the area from adverse development. The British Mountaineering Council maintain a mountain hutnamed in memory of Don Whillans in the area.
In clear conditions, it is possible to see much of
Cheshire and views stretching as far as Snowdon in Wales and Winter Hill in Lancashire.
The Roaches are the most prominent part of a curving ridge which extends for several miles from Hen Cloud in the south to Back Forest and Hangingstone in the northwest. Nearby are the broad hills of
Gun and Morridge