Sunday, 13 September 2009

Wizards of Edge

On Sunday afternoons we often drive to a local beauty spot, Alderley Edge, to walk the dog. Some of you may know that the Edge is rich in legends and history and inspired Alan Garner’s The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, a story about two children protecting a magical stone from the evil Morrigan and her followers. There are many unusual sites nestled amongst the ancient trees from the Druid’s Circle , the Holy well and Wishing well, the mines and the sandstone caves and rocks.
This blend of mystical, pagan and Arthurian captures many visitors’ imaginations and this afternoon we met this group of - er – elvish warriors who had dressed up for the occasion and were keen to tell us all about it while brandishing their very own Excalibur ( albeit plastic). I thought the blokes looked rather wizard like, I love the flaming red beard, and the women made charming pixies ( the ears are fake, honest...) They were on a quest but let me take this great photo all the same - I don’t know about you, but I adore eccentricity and a capacity for imagination.
The picture above is one I took of the view over the Edge this afternoon. It was a beautiful, sunny September day and the area was full of couples, families with children and dog walkers - as well as elvish questors!

These photos of the sandstone caves and of castle rock _ the name of the rocky outcrop to the right - show the layers in the stone and the colours created by the mineralisation.
The Edge is full of fascinating nooks and cranies ; the boys in particular loved exploring the area when they were younger and would dare each other to go further into the cave above.

I wish I had a picture of the various wells, there is a wishing well and a holy well . There is a legend of some iron gates that remain to be found and I believe that a hermit lived somewhere in the Edge during the nineteenth century. Alderley Edge is well worth a visit if you come to Cheshire, a trip there will always yield treasure of one sort or another.

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