The Roaches | Peak District Towns and Villages | Staffordshire | Derbyshire | England | UK
Peak District Towns and Villages: The Roaches
Villages around The Roaches
|Elkstone comprises two farming hamlets, Upper and Lower Elkstone, which nestle into the hillside above Warslow Brook, sheltered to the west by the moorland ridge of Morridge, on which the Mermaid Inn stands. |
The settlements are centred on the church in Upper Elkstone. This was built in 1788 and has been hardly altered since, so it is a perfect example of a Georgian country church. It is a gem.
There are some pretty cottages with lovely gardens and little else in Elkstone. Making it a beautifully quiet and hidden corder of the Peaks. Access from here to the Morridge uplands is very straightforward and on the ridge some two miles above the village there is the Mermaid Inn. This old coaching inn has magnificent views across to the Roaches and Ramshaw Rocks which are well worth the trip to see.
Elkstone Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
|Flash has the distinction of being the highest village in England, at 1514 feet above sea level and in winter it is frequently snow-bound.|
The main part of the village clings to the hillside just below its brow, clustered around the church but there are many far-flung farms hereabouts, that focus predominantly on sheep farming on the sparsely populated local moorlands.
Flash itself has a pub, the New Inn, but no other amenities. Pony trekking is available from Northfield Farm. Just outside the village at Flash Bar on the A53, there is Flash Bar stores - possibly the highest shop in England - and another pub, the Traveller's Rest.
Flash Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Besides the valley of the Dane, the attractions of the area are the fine moorland walks on the Back Forest and The Roaches and the unusual formation known as Lud's Church.
Gradbach Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
|Leek is the principal town of the Staffordshire Moorlands and the most important centre on the south western edge of the Peak District. It stands on a hill in a large bend in the River Churnet and is locally known as 'The Queen of the Moorlands'.|
The Normans gave this area to the Earls of Chester and Ranulf the 6th earl founded Dieu la Cres abbey here in 1210. Until its dissolution in 1537 the abbey was the major economic and cultural centre of the area. The ruins lie across the Churnet 2km north of the town centre but there is now little to see of what must once have been a fine building.
In the late 18th and 19th centuries the town changed from a sleepy market town to a centre of silk weaving and several large mills were constructed, one of which can be seen looming above the road to Macclesfield. Leek boomed and the population multiplied during this time but nothing now remains of the silk industry in Leek.
The town still has a lively shopping centre and a market every Wednesday and is a good centre from which to explore the south and west of the Peak.
Leek Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
|Upper Hulme is a tiny hamlet clustered around a now redundant mill on the upper reaches of the River Churnet. The houses are built from the local sandstone, which is a beautiful rose colour, and the road through is the principal access to the fabulous Roaches and Hen Cloud as well as being close to Ramshaw Rocks to the north and Tittesworth Reservoir to the south so is a great place to base yourself for walking in this area. There is a popular pub, The Rock.|
Upper Hulme Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Wincle & Danebridge & Swythamley
|Wincle is an isolated farming community situated close to the River Dane in the south west of the Peak District. There is a fine church and down the hill at Danebridge there is a pub called the Ship Inn, close to the River Dane. |
Swythamley lies on the Staffordshire side of the River Dane. Swythamley Hall stands in a fine park and was originally a mediaeval hunting lodge belonging to the Abbey of Dieulacres. The hall was granted to the Traffords by Henry VIII in 1540 and became their home and that of their successors, the Brocklehursts. Unfortunately the original house burned down in 1813, so the modern building is a rebuilding dating from then. The Hall now belongs to the Hari Krishna sect.
Swythamley has been convincingly identified as the castle of the Green Knight of the classic medieval poem "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" and nearby Lud's Church as the knight's 'Green Chapel'. This probably means that the unknown author was connected with Dieulacres Abbey in some way.
Wincle & Danebridge & Swythamley Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
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