I came across a reference to a Ley line in Doug Pickford’s book “Myths and Legends of East Cheshire and the Moorlands” which he claims runs through the church at Prestbury. According to the late Mr Raymond Richards in his book “Old Cheshire churches”, the church was built 22 and a half degrees out of true so that it would align to this mysterious energy line.
If Doug or Raymond had checked on an ordnance survey map which I proceeded to do they might have been suprised that this line of energy which can be detected using dowsing rods appears to align and travel through place names which end with “Ley”. The first one of these places is Bradley Mount then it runs through Butley, then Whiteley Green and then Lyme Handley before appearing to terminate at a wooded hill called Knightslow Wood. In this wood is what I believe to be the burial site of a Knight, as the mound inside the wood is known as Knight’s Low, the term low would refer to it being a burial mound.
Although excited by the fact that the Ley line seemed to pass through these area’s I was disappointed to learn that the term “Ley” is derived from “lea” meaning grassy clearing, however on digging a bit deeper I was to learn that this was not necessarily the case. I found the following information on Wikepedia concerning Alfred Watkins who wrote a book in the 1920s about Ley lines and alignments and who was considered an authority on the subject, the information is as follows: On 30 June 1921, Alfred Watkins visited Blackwardine in Herefordshire, and had been driving along a road near the village (which has now virtually disappeared). Attracted by the nearby archaeological investigation of a Roman camp, he stopped his car to compare the landscape on either side of the road with the marked features on his much used map. While gazing at the scene around him and consulting the map, he saw, in the words of his son, ‘like a chain of fairy lights’  a series of straight alignments of various ancient features, such as standing stones, wayside crosses, causeways, hill forts and ancient churches on mounds. He realized immediately that the potential discovery had to be checked from higher ground when during a revelation he noticed that many of the footpaths there seemed to connect one hilltop to another in a straight line. He subsequently coined the term “ley” at least partly because the lines passed through places whose names contained the syllable Ley.
So judging by what Alfred Watkins had found all those years ago perhaps there is some truth to the fact that the alignment that runs from Prestbury church does pass through place names ending with the Ley syllable!
On thursday 5th of July 2012 I set off to try to find Knightslow, according to the ordnance survey map that I had there was no easy way to get to it. I travelled from Macclesfield along the A323 London road passing Prestbury and eventually coming into Adlington where I turned right at the crossroads where it is signposted for Pott Shrigley, I followed this road and when I came into Pott Shrigley I turned left opposite the church and followed this road for a couple of miles until I passed Brink farm on my left. Not far past the farm I parked up on the left of the road as this is where the Gritstone Trail can be found,I followed the trail which took me up onto Sponds hill where the views were amazing, many important features on the landscape can be seen from here which include White Nancy, Bosley Cloud, Croker Hill, Shining Tor, Pyms Chair, Wingather Rocks, Thursbitch, Shutlingslow and the list goes on. I carried on walking for a couple of miles until eventually I came to Bowstone Gate, I had read about the Bowstones before but was not sure where they were located, little did I realise that this trip would actually bring me to their location. After passing through the gate a tarmac road begins, about 50 yards down this road there is a small fenced off area on the left hand side, within this enclosure can be found the Bowstones. The following information came from Wikepedia concerning the stones and is as follows:
The Bowstones are a pair of Anglian cross shafts in Cheshire, England. Situated beside the old ridgeway between Disley and Macclesfield overlooking Lyme Park, the Cheshire Plain, the city of Manchester and the hills of the Peak District, they are a scheduled monument.
The western shaft is 1.22 metres high and tapers from circumference of 1.25m at the base to 0.86m at the top. The eastern shaft is 0.98m high and has a circumference of 1.27m. Both are decorated with interlaced carvings in a style that indicates a date of the 10th century or earlier. There is some later lettering engraved. Their round cross section and their erection as a pair is unusual for crosses of this era. They may have been moved their current location in the 16th century by Sir Piers Legh of Lyme Hall. Two stone cross heads on display at the hall may have originally surmounted the shafts.
Local legend states that the name is derived from their use by Robin Hood and his men to re-string their bows.
Their location on a prominent ridgeline on the edge of the Peak District National Park with extensive views, near to the popular visitor attraction of Lyme Park and by the crossing of several public footpaths and a minor road make them a well-visited site.
After retracing my steps I returned once more to the Gritstone trail and Bowstone Gate where a sign post can be found which points towards Lyme Park, the direction I needed to take If I was to reach Knightslow. The trail starts descending from the ridge and I was able to spot an unsual tower in the distance and using my telephoto lens was able to photograph it, I assumed that this must be located in Lyme park and must form part of a larger estate.
As I steadily descended down from the ridge I could see Knightslow wood in the distance, as I drew closer I could see that the wood was surrounded by a high stone wall which would stop any curious people such as myself from entering it. Unfortunatley due to this fact and probably because it too was part of this large estate I was unable to check whether a Ley line runs through it by dowsing at the location, I was also unable to check whether there is a tell tale earthen mound in the centre of the wood which would correspond with what it states on the ornance survey map. So unfortunately the mystery still remains, was a Knight of considerable importance buried at this place some time in the past and was his grave site placed here because of the energy line which can be found at this spot?
I came across the following information in an old book in Knutsford library with information which throws more light on this subject and can be found in an introduction to “The ballad of Percy Legh.” and is as follows: In the park at Lyme, near the hall, is a beautiful conical hill, crowned with trees, which has been called from time immemorial “The Knight’s Low,” and is supposed to have been the burial place of one of the earlier knight’s of the family so long resident there. In another part of the estate, adjoining a stream that runs through the park, is a field which has always been known, within record, as “The lady’s Grave,” and also as “The field of the White Lady.” The ballad is founded on a tradition related to me, when on a visit to Lyme, by the late Mr Legh. It is said that at midnight “a muffled sound, as of a funeral peal, is often borne on the wind, and that at this time a shadowy procession of mourners may be seen wending towards the Knight’s Low, bearing a coffin and pall, and followed by a Lady arrayed in white, and apparently in deep distress.”