Ludchurch Cave

Ludchurch has many legends attached to it, one such legend concerns the cave which can be found at the southern end of the chasm, and although it is now inaccessible due to boulders and rubble blocking access to it, it has been explored by two men more than two hundred years ago. The following account is taken from the book “Legends of the Moorland and Forest in Staffordshire” written by a Miss Dakeyne in 1860 in which she claimed that” there were a strange and distinct race of beings who inhabited this cave”. She goes on to say in her book that a student managed to gain access to the cave and left a newspaper and some coins, presumably as some sort of offering, but as he was attempting to leave the cave through the small entrance there was a terrible sound like a clap of thunder, almost as if the entrance was about to close up. Could this refer to the meaning of the word “Lud” as in Ludchurch meaning “Loud one”?

Another story concerning this cave is an account taken from a rare book which I own called “Swythamley and its Neighbourhood” which was written by Sir Philip Brocklehurst, who incidently used to own the land that Ludchurch can be found on. The account is as follows, ” A flight of twenty four steps leads out of the place at its southern end, but the ravine itself winds on a few yards further, until it terminates in a deep hole, recently reopened by its present owner. From the bottom of this hole the renowned cavern of Ludchurch descends far below, the roof in places being a very great height, but as large stones and rocks repeatedly fall, the descent is attended with great risk and danger. There are men still living who have partly explored it and got to where they could distinctly hear the noise of water flowing, possibly the river Dane. One of the explorers being William Mills of the Roche, a man of great courage and veracity. He, provided with ropes, a lantern and a large ball of twine to guide his return journey, was underground some hours, and thought that there were some signs of Druidical remains, and also steps having the appearance of masonry, but nothing is definitely known about it, as the visit was not repeated. Lord Macauley, in his essay on “Milton”, says that the most uncivilised people are the most poetical: and the idea seems to be corroborated by the fact that the older inhabitants of the country around Ludchurch, a wild and unpolished race, had many romantic notions about this cave”.

A danger sign which can be found above the blocked cave.


3 Responses to “Ludchurch Cave”

  1. Please does anyone have info re: RUSHBEARING this Sunday at Forest Chapel ? eg Time it takes place, ease of finding, is it worth a 2.5 hour drive (each way) ? the only info I have is from the Folk Customs calendar and only bare details. Would be grateful if anyone can help. Thanks, Sylvie

    • Hi Sylvie,
      The service begins in the church at 3:00pm and is relayed outside by loudspeakers. The service includes a special rushbearing hymn, written by the brother of a vicar here early last century. Part way through the service, the congregation moves outside to hear the sermon, delivered by the preacher from the top of a table tomb in the graveyard. The road up through macclesfield forest is very narrow and there is limited room to park when you reach the chapel.You can find directions to the chapel if you click on my listing for Rushbearing at Forest Chapel.

      Regards Gary

  2. […] is remembered in the very rocks beneath our feet: Ludgate and Luds Cave being just two such examples.  And his remembrance lies also in the memory of all those fellow […]

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