Mystery at Meerbrook?
Close by Tittesworth resevoir on the outskirts of Leek, and towered over by the rocky outcropping known as the Roaches lies the small village of Meerbrook. In the village can be found tucked away and surrounded by trees Meerbrook church which was originally built in 1538 and altered substantially over the ensuing years.
It was the year 1835 which is of particular interest to ourselves, as it was during this year that the Rev James Turner sent a letter to Christian Remembrancer relating to an unusual occurrence which had taken place in the year 1822. James went on to relate the following tale which had taken place one bright cold february morning after a night of freezing weather. He was walking through the churchyard when he noticed something shining on top of an old sun dial which can be found amongst the gravestones.
The brass sun dial had previously been removed which had left a circular recess about one inch deep where it had previously sat, the incredible thing was the water that sat in this recess had formed into ice in the freezing weather and replicated itself into the missing sun dial! The Gnomen, the part of the sun dial which casts a shadow had also been recreated from ice, and it was pointing due north and south exactly the way the brass one had pointed. Also the lines which represented the hours and which spread from the centre to the circumference of the sun dial could also be clearly seen.
James fetched his Father to witness this incredible sight, and they sought to preserve this unusual simulacra, but even though they placed a bucket over the formation to protect it against the gathering heat of the suns rays, alas it had all but disappeared by noon that day. It is still possible to see the sun dial amongst the graves in the churchyard, however at some time in the past the sun dial has been replaced, so the recess on top of the plinth has now been filled.