Walk in val­ley of living dread

Macclesfield Express - - EAST CHESHIRE RAMBLERS -

AN iso­lated val­ley in the hills above Rainow, near Macclesfield, that was the set­ting for the novel Thurs­bitch by in­ter­na­tional-sell­ing chil­dren’s au­thor Alan Gar­ner was the fo­cus of a re­cent walk by East Cheshire Ram­blers.

Span­ning a pe­riod from the 18th cen­tury un­til the present day, the book is cen­tred on a mys­te­ri­ous in­scrip­tion found on a rock about a fic­tional death from ex­po­sure.

“Cer­tainly, Thurs­bitch is an eerie place to visit at any­time,” said walk leader Steve Hull.

‘‘No won­der then that they were the in­spi­ra­tion for Gar­ner’s novel of the same name,” he added.

“It must have been a very lonely place to live.

‘‘It seems that no-one is quite sure what the name means but two sug­ges­tions are ‘The Val­ley of the De­mon’ or ‘The Val­ley of the Living Dread’.

Although the day had started out with heavy rain, the air was very clear and we had ex­ten­sive views of the Peak Dis­trict hills and fur­ther afield into north Wales.

The first ob­jec­tive was Wag­gon­shaw Brow which we reached by a gen­tle as­cent along field paths.

We de­scended to our first stop on the edge of wood­land over­look­ing the Todd Brook val­ley, where we sur­prised a small herd of deer and watched as they scur­ried away from us.

Af­ter Thurs­bitch we climbed to the trig point on Shin­ing Tor where there was good shel­ter from the wind be­hind a wall that gave us the chance to ad­mire the view while we ate lunch.

We then walked over Stake Side down to the Macclesfield to Bux­ton road and along a pleas­ant per­mis­sive path to Bot­tom-of-the-Oven.

This was fol­lowed by an as­cent to For­est Chapel.

Walk­ing through the for­est to Tegg’s Nose, we no­ticed that re­cent felling has opened up pre­vi­ously hid­den views over the Cheshire Plain.

The walk ended with a pleas­ant de­scent along the up­per Dean Val­ley back to Rainow.

For more in­for­ma­tion go to ram­blerseastcheshire.org. uk.

●● The ram­blers gather in the ru­ins of an iso­lated farm at Thurs­bitch, near Rainow

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