The Roaches-Circle within a Circle

High up on the rocky escarpment which is known as the Roaches or Roches, and not far from the triangulation point can be found a strange rock carving in the form of a circle within a deeper circle carved in the centre.

A channel can be seen cut out of the rock, this would stop water collecting around the base and damaging the shaft when it froze in the Winter.

The surrounding area has been carved to be a platform on the edge of this rocky escarpment. Expert opinion suggests that it was not carved with modern tools and was probably done using a medieval stone pick, many suggestions have been made regarding its use but so far no-one knows for sure what its true purpose was.

This strange T shaped carving can be found close to the circle, it may represent a hammer or a pick used to work the stone. There may be a connection to the Knights Templar as a similar design has been found on one of their graves in Biddulph churchyard.

Probably one of the best explanations put forward so far was that a phallic fetility shaft once stood here similar to Cluelow Cross, whereby a woman wishing to conceive would walk round and round the shaft probably hugging it in or in contact with it in the hope of becoming pregnant. A part of a shaft can still be seen below the Roaches on the roadside close to the Five Clouds, some farmer has used it as a gatepost no less, although some of it is missing it is thought that this might have fitted into the circular hole in the centre of the outer circle.

Is this part of a fertility shaft which may have once fitted into the circle but is now being used as a gatepost?

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