Last Sunday the Wildwood met up to explore Bosley Cloud, a hill that stands on the Cheshire – Staffordshire border. It’s quite a landmark locally, looming as it does over the area and it promised fantastic views. We had quite a gentle walk up to the summit through woodland. As you get closer to the top the trees thin out and there is heather and whinberry.
Local historian Doug Pickford claims that the Cloud was the the central site for a Celtic tribe called the ‘people of the cat’ Apparently they worshipped a cat god called Catha, and there is a stone on the Cloud with the face of a grinning cat called the Cat Stone where they congregated – I’m not convinced! There are quite a few stones on the western side of the hilltop which do seem to form a circle.
We made a close inspection of several large stones but couldn’t find the cat :)
Another of the stones, this had a crow feather stuck into the ground beneath it.
This is a stone by the path which is cut in a cross on the top. Possibly a border marker.
The summit of the hill has a trig point and a view finder
Unfortunately the weather wasn’t very kind to us, we got to the trig point and only had a quick glimpse across to the Roaches before the cloud came down. Then it started to hail, tiny pieces of ice which were flung into your face with such force they really stung.
Thankfully Jane had brought a packet of chocolate biscuits with her so we were able to fortify ourselves for the walk down.
The stone here is a variety of millstone grit called Chatsworth Grit which was formed in the carboniferous period. It was quarried to form the canal locks at Bosley and following the introduction of the railway a huge amount was used to build the ‘Twenty Arches’ viaduct at North Rode in 1849. The operation to remove this caused a groove down the face of the hill. As cradles of rock were lowered down on an aerial ropeway.
At the foot of the summit rocks there are several interesting carvings. Some of us found the way down too steep and had to be carried!
The photo below doesn’t do the wonderful fan shaped vaults justice. For some reason it also seems to make the overhang look very shallow, whereas it was quite cave like and sheltered in reality.
The day got progressively colder and wetter as it went on, but despite the weather we had a wonderful day, lots of fun and laughter. Fortunately there was an opportunity to dry out afterwards at The Young Pretender in Congleton. I only wish I’d been able to try some of their huge ale selection, I shall have to take Mr Stoatie there for a treat!