The Roaches ( from the French les roches - the rocks ), along with Hen Cloud and Ramshaw Rocks are a familiar landmark for anyone driving from Leek to Buxton. They form a gritstone escarpment which marks the south-western edge of the Peak District high above above Leek and Tittesworth reservoir.
Much of the region, consisting mainly of moorland and gritstone, heather and billberries, once belonged to the Swythamley Estate but was purchased in 1980 by the Peak National Park in order to protect this unique area and guarantee access for the public.
The Roaches are divided into two distinct tiers of rock. Into the base of the lower tier has been built the Gameskeeper's Cottage, converted into a climbing hut. To the of the cottage stone steps lead up to the more level ground which flanks the upper tier. Hen Cloud is an impressive, solitary edge.
With its easy access by road, the area is a favourite place with walkers and rock-climbers, and the edges provide some of the best gritstone and longest climbs in the Peak District. The Sloth with its gigantic overhang, is the most impressive features of the rocks.
Photographs of the Roaches at Derbyshire Photographs
Other Derbyshire and Peak District edges
Baslow, Curbar and Froggatt Edges