Walk report 19th December Bosley Cloud & The Bridestones

The group gathers for a photograph at the summit of Bosley Cloud.

After days of torrential rain, seventeen East Cheshire Ramblers were blessed with a mild winter day for our five mile walk led by Maggie Swindells from the picnic site at Timbersbrook up to Bosley Cloud and back. The top of The Cloud was shrouded in clouds as we set off but as the sun came out, the cloud melted away and we were blessed with sweeping views across three counties from the top! The dish at Jodrell Bank shone in the sunshine, a spectacular sight in the winter landscape. Bosley Cloud is a ‘Marilyn’, one of 175 in England! A Marilyn is a mountain or hill in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland or Isle of Man with a prominence of at least 150 metres (492 ft), regardless of absolute height or other merit. After sharing some Christmas chocolate treats and a hot cup of coffee, we wound our way down through the summer remains of brambles, blackberries and bracken to visit the Bridestones, a unique Neolithic monument.
The few remaining stones of this once great monument still stand along the line of the Cheshire/ Staffordshire border between the hillside of Bosley Cloud and Wolfe Lowe. The site is in desperate need of attention and recognition. Located at 820ft above sea level, the burial chamber lies on the western crest of a pass running in a north-south line at the foot of the Pennines and has spectacular views across the Cheshire Plain.
It is now a shadow of its former self with thousands of tons of stone having been taken from the cairn by the builders of the nearby turnpike road in 1764. Other stones were used to build the adjacent house and farm, while yet more were recycled into an ornamental garden in Tunstall Park. However, before this large scale ransacking occurred, it appears that the Bridestones was an incredible monument, perhaps unique in England.
From the Bridestones our walk meandered along the edge of a field full of sheep before dropping us gently down into the woodland and across a very wet bridge over a rushing stream. We climbed out of the woods and along a road edged with pretty stone houses and gardens boasting an array of Christmas lights and decorations before returning to our starting point in the car park.

At the Bridestones Neolithic Monument.