A saintly way between stations
PUBLIC transport was used by the East Cheshire Ramblers to get to Stone in Staffordshire for a walk along a section of the newly created Two Saints Way back to Stoke-onTrent.
The Two Saints Way was created in 2012 and is way-marked path which runs between Chester and Lichfield.
The group set off alongside a short section of the Trent and Mersey Canal towpath to reach Meaford Locks before heading towards Tittensor Chase, passing on the way the ancient Anglo Saxon settlement of Wulherecestre, which for a while was the ancient capital of Mercia.
Nearby stands a green rounded hill called Saxon’s Lowe which is thought to pre-date Saxon times despite its name.
After a morning break in the churchyard of Tittensor, the group entered Trentham Estate where there is a network of trails.
A short wooded ascent was made to reach the large statue of the first Duke of Sutherland George Granville, which was erected in 1834 and overlooks Trentham Gardens.
Paths were next followed to the west of the Monkey Forest and continued through the ancient Kings Wood.
A hilly section of the walk followed along Kingswood Bank where there were some good views.
A sheltered spot in the churchyard of St Mary’s Church at Trentham was the lunch stop and here there are the remains of an ancient cross base and prayer stone.
The present day Victorian church stands on a religious site dating back to the seventh century.
Pressing on to re-join the Trent and Mersey Canal towpath towards Stoke-on-Trent, a diversion was made at the end of the walk to visit Stoke Minster which was upgraded to minster status as recently as 2005. In the churchyard is the grave to Josiah Wedgwood and the shaft of a Saxon cross.
For more details of East Cheshire Ramblers’ programme of weekend and midweek walks go to ramblerseastcheshire. org.uk
The Duke of Sutherland statue which overlooks Trentham Gardens