Leek ST13 6AD
A guided walk to Lud’s Church accompanied by Gawain expert and storyteller, Clive Foden. Travel by mini-bus from the Market Place in Leek stopping en-route to consider the location of Bertilak’s castle. The walk itself will start at Roach End, the place where Gawain’s guide, loaned by Bertilak, gives him the chance to chicken out. Using the guide’s directions we’ll walk down to Back Forest, look at the remains of a very old and potentially significant iron foundry, and make our way via Castle Cliff Rocks to the “accursed kirk” of Luddchurch where we’ll meet the Green Knight for the denouement. Discover the Moorland landscape that the Gawain poet must have known intimately and discover how landmarks, historically been viewed as “standard” Arthurian locations, are real places which a local poet very cleverly wove into a wonderful tale of human frailty and our inability to see the bigger picture. Clive will be telling the story as he guides the group
A sample of medieval snacks will be available but bring your own packed lunch as there isn’t access to food once the walk starts. The terrain can be difficult under foot, please bring suitable footwear and clothing for a walk in the Peak District. You are responsible for you own safety while on the walk. The walk takes place outside, regardless of the weather, it is your responsibility to ensure you are properly equipped for the weather conditions.
Clive Foden grew up locally in Sneyd Green and he walked, scrambled and rock climbed all over the Staffordshire Moorlands as it was only a single bus trip away. An avid reader of any material on the area he became aware that a poem called Sir Gawain and the Green Knight may have used the landscape for a couple of hunting scenes. His English teacher lent him an edition of the poem by Tolkien edition and, as noted author Alan Garner found, he discovered that reading it aloud in a North Potteries accent really helped. Clive became obsessed, not only with the beauty and intricacy of the work, the wonderful evocation of Medieval luxury, the biting exploration into the impossibility of being perfect, but with the way the poem fitted into a well known landscape. Thus began something of an obsession – he studied religions and mythology at university and as a teacher he often used the poem a vehicle for his lessons. Clive is an expert storyteller and Sir Gawain is always his favourite. Now living in Norfolk, Clive is passionate that Leek should claim this anonymous genius as her own, and that those walking the landscape might be made aware of the literature which it inspired.