The Everlasting Doxey Pool


I first became aware of The Roaches, a rocky outcrop in Staffordshire midway between the towns of Leek and Buxton, when I was a pilot in training with the RAF. In those days we were sent out solo from our base at Woodvale on "Cross Country" exercises. The only problem was that I hadn't yet got my instrument rating. The Roaches, not 500 metres high, had a habit of pulling down the cloud base, and the whole exercise became one of avoiding the area whilst flying below the clouds.


Rock climbers on The Roaches

Now, I know The Roaches as a training ground for rock climbers, although arthritis now eliminates that sport for me. At the very top of the The Roaches is the Doxey Pool (see below. That is Kate in the background.) We have never seen it dry, even when the reservoirs in the valley below have been empty in the recent drought years. The pool is, in fact, a dew pond, and even in the height of a hot summer, with cloudless skies, there is sufficient dew in the morning to keep the pool full. The Doxey pool is not as well known as the nearby Mermaid Pool, perhaps because the Doxey doesn't have a nearby public house named after it!



The Doxey Pool, never dry, even in drought!..............

 The pool is named after the daughter of Bess Bower of Rock Hall. One night, it is said, "strange men came and carried her off, and Bess died of grief." Talking of strange men, the self-styled Lord of the Roaches lived at Rock Hall as a recluse until recently. Rock Hall itself used to look grim, as if it really belonged to a Gothic novel. Its recent conversion to a guest-house, however, has made it quite friendly, and a good place to stay.

Rock Hall, in cheerful mood