902 Lud's Church and the Hanging Stone

The deep cleft of Lud's Church is one of the most memorable places in the southern Peak District. A deep cleft in the heather moor above Gradbach, it is famed for its association with the 14th-century Arthurian poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. It is certainly one of the wonders of the Peak where the lord of the manor, when out hunting, came across this chasm and, unable to stop, instead spurred his horse to a stupendous leap. He survived, though his hounds alas failed. The name comes from its association with the Lollards who hid here to worship. And then there is Hanging Stone. In view for miles around, it tempts one to the lip and though John has ventured out, it is not a place to stand upon without a sure and steady head for heights. There is a memorial plaque on the rock face to Captain Brocklehurst who was killed in the last war. But our favourite, on the face of the rock and seen easily from below, is the memorial to Burke - "A noble mastiff, black and tan, faithful as woman, braver than man. A gun and a ramble his heart's desire with the friend of his life the Swythamly Squire".

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LOCATION: 7 miles south-west of Buxton
START: Leave A54 at Rose & Crown, after 2 miles turn sharp right, signed Gradbach Mill & Scout Camp, to Gradbach car park
Grid ref: SJ999663 Postcode: SK170SU
DISTANCE: 6 miles
GRADE: Moderate
TIME: 3.5 hours
MAP: Explorer OL - White Peak Landranger 118
REFRESHMENTS: Gradbach Mill outdoor cafe (closed in winter) or Pack a flask
EN ROUTE: Castle Rocks, Back Forest, Black Brook, Casters Bridge, River Dane, Roach End

This walk was originally published by
The Manchester Evening News

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