There can be found in Cheshire and over the border in Staffordshire a series of strange shafts which bear an amazing similarity to each other. The one pictured above can be found in the churchyard of St Edwards church in Leek, another of the shafts can be found behind the Fourways motel halfway between Bosley and Allgreave, this shaft is known as Cluelow Cross.
Cluelow Cross is a shaft and not a cross.
In Celtic the word clurow means “to rub”, this ties in with the theory that this shaft and possibly the others that can be found in the area were used by Celtic women, it is thought they would visit these sites, and naked would proceed to walk around the shafts rubbing themselves against it in the hope of conceiving a child. At Cluelow Cross if you look closely at the base stone on which the shaft sits on you can clearly see evidence of wear as if many feet have worn a circular depression in the stone.
The nearby town of Leek is thought by some to have aquired its name after a spring of water from a hillside, however another school of thought is that it is from Celtic word Lech, which means hiding place or sanctuary. Leek and the surrounding area would have been heavily forested in those days, is that the reason that these stone shafts were hidden in this dense woodland and perhaps used in ceremonies dedicated to the Old religions and Old ways, not in keeping with Christian values or beliefs?
The stone shafts which are now in Macclesfield Park but were originally to be found hidden in Macclesfield forest.
Perhaps the purpose of these shafts will allways remain an enigma, but there presence in this diverse and wonderful countryside only adds to the mysteries that can be found here.