Hindley, Brady, the Serpent Stone & Ramshaw Rocks.

There can’t be many people in this country who aren’t aware of the Moors murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley who in the 1960s killed 5 children. Their victims names were Pauline Reade, 16 who was believed to have been abducted by them on her way to a disco on the 12th of July 1963, Leslie Anne Downey, 10 who the pair lured away from a funfair on Boxing day in 1964, Edward Evans, 17 who Brady was said to have killed with an axe in 1965 and John Kilbride,12 who was abducted in November 1963.

Keith Bennet is the only missing child whose body has not been recovered despite extensive searches of Saddleworth Moor where the other bodies were discovered. Photographs which were taken by Hindley and Brady were originally thought to have been taken on Saddleworth Moor, however a soon to be released documentary regarding the murderers suggests that the photographs were taken on Ramshaw Rocks in the Staffordshire Moorlands. As I have spent a lot of time in this area I decided to see whether I could discover the locations where Brady and Hindley posed for the photographs.

The first photograph I looked for shows the couple sitting on a rock which is known as the Serpent Stone, however the photograph was taken from the rear of the stone and bears little resemblance to the front of it.

brady and hindley 018The front of the Serpent Stone.

brady and hindley 020The rear of the Serpent Stone.

brady and hindley 031This photograph clearly shows the murderers sitting on the Serpent Stone which raises the question of who actually took this photograph? Was it keith Bennet whose body may have been buried in this area, or was it perhaps just a passing visitor to the rocks that day?

If you study this photograph closely it appears at first glance that Brady is interacting with Hindley, however it has been suggested that many photographs taken by Brady are a coded reference system to where the bodies have been buried. In this photograph Brady has the fingers of his left hand splayed, is this a reference to him having killed five times, or perhaps he is saying the fifth victim is buried in this direction where his arm is pointing. Following the latter theory I sat on the Serpent Stone, adopted the same position as Brady and using a compass found that his arm was pointing directly to the south. I followed the direction that Brady was pointing in and it took me down to a lower level of Ramshaw Rocks, it was a narrow plateau, on the left there is a steep drop down to the A53 far below, to my right there is a gritstone rock face around 12 – 15ft in height. serpent stone brady 015I walked along this narrow ridge and came across a carving in the rock of a face which aligned directly with the position that Brady’s arm was pointing in. Could this face be a representation of Keith Bennet carved by Brady as a grave marker? Unfortunately the answer has to be no, because there is a date carved next to the face which suggests it was carved in 1953, outside the time frame when Brady and Hindley were committing these murders, however it nearly ties in with the year that Keith was born, did Brady make an error with the year? I climbed back up to the Serpent Stone with the intention of trying to detect a strong Ley-line which is said to form an alignment between the Bawdstone below Hen Cloud on the Roaches about 1 mile away and the Serpent Stone here on Ramshaw Rocks. Using dowsing rods I intended to walk around the Serpent Stone until I detected the Ley-line, then I would walk around the stone in a wider circle and detect it again, this would give me two reference points to form an alignment hopefully to the Bawdstone. Unfortunately I was unable to detect any Ley-line, however I did detect an anomaly where the dowsing rods kept swinging together, I found there to be a depression in the ground at this point, it was also directly due south in the direction that Brady had been pointing in. Were the splayed fingers of Brady referring to five feet? And is this where the body is buried? Even using just one dowsing rod as a direction finder it still kept swinging towards this location, and it is unlikely that I would be detecting water at a height of around 1500ft above sea level. I measured the distance from the rock and found it to be 3.3metres directly due south. I placed my bag on the depression and took this photograph of itserpent stone brady 025. While moving around the Serpent Stone I did find a date carved into it, could this have been done by Brady and Hindley back in 1961 before they started their killing spree and showing that they were familiar with the area back then ?serpent stone brady 027

brady and hindley 027In this photograph of Brady holding a dog above his head, presumably taken by Hindley it shows him wearing different clothing compared to the other photographs which suggests they visited this area on more than one occasion.

brady and hindley 010I took this photograph which seems to replicate where Hindley must have been standing when she took this photograph. It has been speculated that the reason that Brady was holding the dog above his head was that it was some sort of marker code as to where the body may have been buried. I however disagree with this suggestion as to the right of where the photograph was taken can be found the A53 Leek to Buxton road which links the two towns. Even back then in the 60s it would still have carried a fair amount of traffic, making it an unlikely spot to bury a body in full view of any passing traffic.

brady hindley ramshaw 001This grainy photograph shows Hindley resting on a flat rock which I discovered on the path leading towards the Serpent Stone. The couple must have stayed awhile at this location as another photograph was taken immediately behind this shot.

brady hindley ramshaw 023It is plain to see in this photograph that this is the very same rock that Hindley was sitting on all those years ago.

untitledbrady hindley ramshaw 027untitledImmediately behind the boulder which Hindley was sitting on can be found a rock formation which I have dubbed the shark as it resembles a sharks head. Hindley took a photograph of Brady who appears to be wearing motorbike gear which suggests that they came here more than once. However it has been discovered that Hindley used a car or van to entice children while Brady followed on a motorbike so maybe two vehicles were used for these visits to Ramshaw Rocks?

This photograph shows Brady dressed in motorcycle gear posing for the camera while leaning against a stone gate post. It has wrongly been reported as having been taken at Ramshaw Rocks when in fact it was taken just off the A53 as it leaves Blackshaw Moor. The location is by a layby between the 50mph and 20mph signs that can be found close to the school. Although I was unable to find the stone gate post the stone wall that can be seen in the original photograph can still be seen in the one that I have taken.

brady hindley ramshaw 011As for this being a possible location for Keith Bennets resting place, it would be doubtful whether Brady and Hindley would have used a farmers field to bury the body in, as there would always be the risk of the farmer ploughing the field and unearthing the remains. However having said that, if you look again at the photograph of Brady leaning against the stone gate post his forefinger of his left hand is pointing to the ground at this spot. Is this another indication of where he may have buried the body? I think the reason that this gate post is no longer there may be because after the 1960s the layby may have been added, which would mean  that the spot Brady is pointing at may now be below the tarmac surface of the layby.

I find it unlikely whether the pair would have disposed of the body on Ramshaw Rocks, it is too exposed and being a popular attraction there would always be the chance of being seen.

I think a more likely spot would be on the other side of the A53, a place known as Morridge Moor which is more remote and which has one minor road which follows the old packhorse track along the top of the ridge. The digging would be easier here and there would have been less chance of being seen. Also there can be found a small pond on the top of Morridge Moor which I have written about in the past, this is known as the Mermaid’s Pool which has many legends and stories attached to it. Whether or not this pool has ever been dragged in the past is not known but I would think it would be a good starting point.

Back in 2005 a team which was doing research for a book on Hindley and Brady conducted a geophysical investigation which concentrated on two areas, Blackshaw Moor and The Roches. Simon Moorhead one of the members of the team said,”Although it was not possible to carry out a full geophysical search, the geology of the terrain can provide a lot of clues.”

The team later moved to Blackshaw Moor where Ian Brady had been photographed. In addition to the photograph, an eyewitness from Meerbrook told the team that she had found evidence of digging in the location around the time of Brady’s activities .Another witness claims that he saw a couple digging around that time on the Buxton side of the Roches.014

14 Responses to “Hindley, Brady, the Serpent Stone & Ramshaw Rocks.”

  1. I would say that you need to read the book which will be out soon, The Secret Key to the Moors Murders will try and explain what we feel is right for the area you in. Brady’s albums are like a film being acted out. One for each child. Ian Brady himself knows the book is due out. There is much that has been missed by people over the years. You will be shocked at what we have.

  2. http://www.keytothemoorsmurders.co.uk/Home.html

  3. WHERE was the Battle of Armshead by the way, this is also very important, Brady would of been in Ludchurch area in 1964 to see the restortation of the Kings Arms . I can see what is being said in these photos. and what you have missed.

  4. http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000673974/The-Secret-Key-To-The-Moors-Murders.aspx

  5. The video link explains the symbolism. The book explains it all, and we now believe we have Brady’s story of what really happened at the moors. The 5 he is showing is part of symbolism, Its the Letter E. He is pointing to Esther, Myra’s real name.

  6. I read your site with interest and was amazed at the photos you have shown which clearly match those taken over 50 years ago. In particular the Serpent Stone as I can recall seeing this myself but can’t place where abouts it is exactly. Is it at the top far end Buxton side of Ramshaw Rocks ?

    • Hi Kathryn, Thanks for the comments. You are right when you say that the Serpent Stone is located on the Buxton side of Ramshaw Rocks, you just have to follow the path that runs along the top of the ridge and this will eventually lead you to the Serpent Stone which can be found at the side of the path.
      Regards Gary

  7. Thanks Gary. I’m fascinated by this now. Just as a matter of interest the shark rock and the grainy rock photo seen en route to the serpent stone…are they all in close proximity to each other?

    • Hi Kathyrn,
      If you follow the path along the ridge you will pass the shark rock on your right. I estimate the Serpent Stone is around 100 yards further along the path in the Buxton direction.
      Regards Gary

  8. Hello the picture of Brady and Hindley on the serpent stone was taken by a camera with a timer on it. He’s clearly put the camera in the grass and timed it for the shot

  9. The history of the area is important to Brady, James Brindley Mill ? where is this from here, also the Luddites. I have mapped Manchester and the environs and the Moors too since the book was published in October 2013. Brady mapped to the historical timeline of the Industrial Revolution. the period is the history we have found important to all areas he has marked. From Platt Fields in Manchester to Alexandra Park Oldham ,Ashway Gap and the Cotton Famine road.. and all our finds recently state that our area has never been searched ..3 years almost and many letters to Ashworth . Check the history and map where he is looking towards.. the dog head and the eye .. its Rosicrucian symbolism .. Thelema also used .

  10. 1961 is the year they began courting, The black coat and dog is the period of Johns murder.. Brady left things as markers all over the areas from The Lakes down.. to places he visited because of the history, he is also displaying the Egyptian God of the Underworld here Anubis.. Rituals he did to the Thelema that they used. The face on the rock he may have carved and looks like a self portrait with the helmet .

  11. Hi there,
    As I originate from Leek and still have close family/friends there, I find the Brady connection both fascinating and disturbing. What do the local police make of the findings, I don’t believe I’ve heard anything in the local press.

  12. I hope you are still working on your blog; I believe I’ve located that stone in the field where Brady is resting his arm. By walking the orange man on google maps I saw the post, now with a metal gate attached at 80m from the layby; just a few metres from the caravan site signpost. There is a thicket of trees there too, and I am almost certain they are ash trees. It’s just a short walk across the field to get to Upper Hulme. They could very easily have stayed at the campsite. Traffic along that road in the early 60’s would have been minimal. It would have been quite easy to dig a grave in that thicket of trees and be completely undetected

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