Alderley Edge is a place of two halves. The Village and the Edge itself.
The village nestles (well they always do, don't they) at the bottom of the Edge. Unlike many towns in England it still has a range of food shops so one can visit the butcher, the baker, the grocer, the greengrocer and so on. But there is currently an explosion of luxury apartment building in the town centre so the number of shops is dwindling and Alderley's character is changing.
The flat Cheshire Plain is disturbed by gently-rising land which suddenly drops away again back to the flat landscape. This is the geological Alderley Edge. It's an escarpment of soft red sandstone which reaches to 600 ft (160m) above the surrounding land. Standing literally on the Edge one can see - on a clear day - to Manchester, Stockport and the Pennines.
At the back the Edge slopes away gently to the flat plain to the South. The picture at left shows a back road into Alderley Edge. In the background is part of the Edge, hidden by trees.
And making it a place of three halves, south of Alderley Edge, is Nether Alderley; a smaller and quieter village.
The Edge has a long history as a mining area since the Romans, and maybe earlier peoples, first started extracting copper ore; there are numerous mine shafts and tunnels in the area. A caving club gives guided tours.
Next to the National Trust car park is The Wizard, currently a restaurant. And near it is the Wizard Wood. So the area has associations with wizards and witches and mystical goings-on. Allegedly witches used to meet there every halloween to perform strange rituals and dance about naked. So lots of people started to arrive to look for the witches. Now wandering about in woods full of old mineshafts and cliffs at night is not a good idea, especially if you've got tanked-up beforehand, so eventually the police had to fend off visitors for their own protection. Fortunately it's all died-down these days.
|This is the Alderley coat of arms, as found on road signs in the area. The motto is "In Praecipiti Stantem" meaning approximately "Steadfast on the Edge". Compare it with the Wilmslow coat of arms.|