Shakes on the Rocks – Staffordshire

The landlocked county of Staffordshire borders seven other counties (I shan’t list them, you will have to trust me). Ten miles to the North-North-East of Stoke-On-Trent (the largest settlement in Staffordshire), you will find Biddulph Moor. The name Biddulph is possible of Anglo-Saxon origin and could mean, ‘The place by the mine” or ‘Beside the quarry’. That little voice inside your head is beginning to murmur, “What does this have to do with bottles?” Isn’t it? Shh.

If you travelled the aforementioned journey from Stoke-On-Trent to Biddulph Moor, you would almost certainly find yourself on New Street. While on the move, the observant traveller will notice Millstone Grit rocks (named because of their historical use as millstones in watermills) protruding from the earth. I am told that depending on which side of the rocks the rain falls the water will either make its way to the river Trent or the river Mersey.  

Amongst the rocks, at Wickenstone Farm, a milk vending machine awaits, offering farm-fresh pasteurised milk to you and me, packaged in a delightful bottle complete with a sophisticated cow standing on two feet sipping milk through a straw. Simply wonderful!

While in the area, you may wish to visit the wonderful Biddulph Grange Garden, a beautiful Victorian garden created in the 1840s by plant hunter James Bateman and his wife, Maria. The garden is owned and managed by the National Trust and is free for members.

Collected in England