At the beginning of this week I took advantage of a sunny, but chilly afternoon for a trip out to Three Shires Head, south of Buxton on the A54, and along Axe Edge Moor. It marks the border between the three counties of Cheshire, Derbyshire, and Staffordshire.
The walk, which can often be over boggy terrain, follows the River Dane down towards the packhorse bridge and cascades at Three Shire Heads. It is also a point where four packhorse routes meet. There is a lovely high-arched stone packhorse bridge, beside it is Panniers Pool, where the packhorses transporting silk, and coal, would have stopped to drink.
In the 19th century, Three Shire Heads was a place where lawbreakers or coiners evaded capture by crossing into a neighbouring county. The local settlement of Flash takes its name from the trading in counterfeit money made by the coiners. The word flash was used to describe dishonesty, or, not of genuine quality i.e. flash men (thieves), flash money (counterfeit currency) or flashy (not as good as it looks.)
This was also said to be the setting for illegal prize fights and cock fighting, as it was easy to escape and soon disappear into the surrounding wild, and rocky scenery. It is reputed that a court was held on this spot in the 14th century by order of the Black Prince, Lord of the nearby Forest of Macclesfield, relating to tenants of the counties of Derby and Stafford who were accused of trespass into the forest.
There was still a little snow around on the higher ground of the moorland, which added to the textures. The drifts of snow created some great curves on the hillside that mirrored sweeping curves created by the hills and valleys further up the moor.
There are a few more shots from my walk in the Peak District Gallery of my website. Please have a look :-)