area is one of rock and heather which once belonged to
the Swythamley Estate. Following the break up of this
estate and in order to protect this unique area and guarantee
access for the public, the area including the Roaches
and Hen Cloud (an area of 975 acres) was purchased in
1980 by the Peak District National Park Authority.
Hen Cloud is an
impressive, solitary edge which rises steeply from the
ground below. The Roaches themselves have a gentler approach
and actually consist of two edges, a Lower and Upper tier,
with a set of rock-steps connecting them. Built into the
rocks of the Lower Tier is Rock Hall Cottage, a tiny primitive
cottage which was once the gamekeeper's residence and
has now been converted into a climbing hut. Below and
to the west of the main edge is a line of small subsidiary
edges known as the Five Clouds. The area was once famous
for its wallabies which were released during World War
II from a private zoo at Swythamley. The wallabies managed
to breed and survive until the late 1990s, when the last
survivors seem to have disappeared.
8 of the best local Walks
Roaches, with Hen Cloud, Five Clouds and Ramshaw Rocks,
form a gritstone escarpment which marks the south-western
edge of the Peak. They stand like a line of silent sentinels
guarding the entrance to the Peak District, worn into
fantastic shapes by the elements. There are a large
number of Walks around the Roaches from 2 miles upwards,
please click on the link for more information, or you
could just walk up Hen Cloud, sit and enjoy the view!
whole area is a favourite place with walkers and rock-climbers,
and the edges provide some of the best gritstone climbing
in the country, with famous classic routes such as Valkyrie,
the Sloth and The Swan.