Monday 25 April 2011

Prehistoric monsters in the Staffordshire Peak

It's really noticeable how The Roaches suddenly explode out of the landscape. One minute, the scene is all pastoral; green fields, trees, sheep, cows... and the next, there they are; these great crags of gritstone rising starkly against the skyline like the scaly hide of some prehistoric monster.

I've posted about The Roaches before, so I won't bore you with lots of repeated information, but I was up there yesterday and the afternoon turned out glorious, so I took loads of photos.

The new growth is so bright that is almost looks artificially green.

The Roaches is made up of two tiers of rock, between which is a small plateau of pine wood.

Looking south, Tittesworth Reservoir can be seen...

...while, to the north is the mass of Wildboarclough and, I think, the small shape of the Cat and Fiddle pub, just visible on the skyline to the right of the photo (though I'm quite prepared to be corrected on that one).

PS: I've been doubly corrected about the pub, once by my dad and also by Louise from Ramblings of a Roachling. The pub is The Mermaid, not the Cat and Fiddle; except it's recently been converted into holiday cottages and so isn't a pub now at all. Thank you both!

Louise also points out that the heather in my last photo is part black and part green. This is where there was a two square mile fire a couple of weeks ago. It is thought to have been started by a cigarette!! (I did hear about the fire at the time, but confess I had forgotten that it was so close to the Roaches.)


  1. This is all so beautiful! Is gritstone the same as granite? I'd not heard of gritstone before, although the huge chunk of rock you featured previously looked very much like our granite (or so I thought!)

  2. Just did a quick search, it's not the same at all. Granite is one of the hardest rocks whereas gritstone is a gravel sandstone :)

  3. ah, the lovely Roaches - this is where I grew up :)

    I must correct you about the pub - it's not the cat and fiddle, it's the Mermaid pub, just by the mermaid pool. It's not a pub now though, it was converted into holiday accomodation not so long ago.

    If you have noticed, in your last photo the heather is different colours - the stuff to the left is darker because it's black after a two square mile fire a couple of weeks ago (thought to be started by a cigarette, grrr.).

  4. Love the Roaches - do we know yet what is happening with regards the purchase of them? I always look for the Winking Man as we pass by. We have walked up there on a couple of occasions and I loved that area of trees between the two areas of rock - it was almost magical:)

  5. I like the rustic look of the Roaches!