Lud’s Church - History and Facts | History Hit

Lud’s Church

Buxton, United Kingdom

Lily Johnson

27 Jan 2021
Image Credit: Christographerowens / Shutterstock

About Lud’s Church

Lud’s Church is a deep ravine in Black Forest, located in Dark Peak in Derbyshire that is said to have witnessed the secret meetings of the Lollards, a persecuted religious group of the 15th century. Today it provides an atmospheric walk, engulfed by the cool greenery of the surrounding woods. 

Lud’s Church history 

The ravine of Lud’s Church was likely formed in the post-glacial period by a large slip of Roaches Grit, a corse form of sandstone, creating the rift seen today. 

In the 15th century, a group of religious dissenters called the Lollards were said to have held religious meetings at the site to escape the persecution of the Catholic Church. A man captured at one such meeting, Walter de Ludank, is likely where the site’s name originated from.

The Lollards were a branch of Proto-Protestants whose controversial beliefs pre-empted the Reformation in England. In 1398 they published a pamphlet making a number of claims, largely painting the Catholic Church as increasingly corrupt and following in Rome’s bad example. 

Lud’s Church also holds a place in the legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, written in the 14th century by an unknown author. It has been suggested that its green chasm was the inspiration for the poem’s ‘Green Church’, after a North West Midland dialect was confirmed in the writer of the tale.

Lud’s Church today 

Today Lud’s Church provides a dramatic nature walk through the Black Forest. Views across the moorlands may be seen on the journey, while the atmospheric paths through Lud’s Church itself transports visitors into the captivating world of old England. Tall rocks covered in greenery jut out from the chasm, while underfoot the terrain is hilly and meandering, engulfing those who pass through and giving the impression of exploring prehistoric lands. 

Should you fancy a longer walk, the nearby Roaches provide stunning views of the surrounding area and a wealth of rocky outcrops to admire. 

Getting to Lud’s Church

Lud’s Church is situated in the Peak District National Park around 10 minutes outside of Buxton. It is in the small village of Gradbach, while lies along a minor road off the A54 Buxton – Congleton road. 

The nearest carparks to Lud’s Church are either at the Gradbach Scout Camp or Gradbach Hostel, from which it is approximately a 20-minute walk, with the path to the ravine well-signposted.

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