Lud's Church

Lud's Church

Lud's Church

Lud's Church

Up on the moors above Gradbach, in Staffordshire's Black Forest, you'll find Lud's Church, a 100m-long, 15m-high cleft in the gritstone hillside. A barely discernible trench to the side leads you into the emerald-green depths of the ravine. Dripping grasses, mosses and ferns cling to its rocky sides, the sunlight shafts creating natural stained-glass patterns. This is allegedly where the Lollards (condemned as heretics) hid in the 14th century – it's easy to see why.

To reach this awesome natural spectacle, one can walk from Gradbach or to do as I did and make a short circular walk, park the car in the layby by the cattle grid by the bend at Roach End. Go through the gap in the wall on the left and turn right, keep with the wall, downhill into the wood, at the bottom, pick up the sign, left for Lud's Church and follow this path through the wood for about 15 minutes to another sign, turn left here and follow this to a T-junction (the left turn is our way back later) so turn right and shortly after you arrive at the top of the chasm. Descend carefully as some of the rocks are wet and mossy into the wider gorge further down. To go back, retrace your steps to the top of the chasm and turn right to reach the sign. Go straight on (concessionary path for ridge) shortly after, you leave the wood, continue uphill and when you reach the path going across, turn left along it, follow this path along the ridge giving good views back to where you parked the car. 2-3 miles, allow about an hour.

Taken - 22/07/2010
Ref:
Date:
Location:
Near Gradbach, Staffordshire
Photographer:
Stephen Dutch