Heritage Walks: Pots & Pans Stone, Uppermill, Saddleworth Moor
Rising above the charming village of Uppermill, located in Saddleworth, just across the border from West Yorkshire, sits a dominant monument which I call “Oldham’s equivalent to Stoodley Pike”. The obelisk and the area of Alderman’s Hill is often referred to as “Pots & Pans” however the name refers specifically to the Pots & Pans Stones which are found there.
"Pots and Pans" Memorial Tower
The tower is a war memorial built in 1923 at a cost of £2000 which was initially opposed by local residents, who wanted a more practical memorial in the form of a hospital. The original plaques upon the cenotaph displayed the names of 259 men from Saddleworth who had died in the First World War. The Pots & Pans Stones are large millstone grit boulders with curved indentations on the surface, resembling, of course, pots and pans. Local legend, which gave rise to the nickname “Druid’s Stone” states that these bowls in the rock surface were used to collect blood from human sacrifices, or alternatively (presumably after the blood had washed away) that rainwater collected here could cure eye diseases.
Lancastrian legend also speaks of two giants, Alphin and Alder, who resided on the rocky outcrops either side of the valley and were rivals for the love of local water nymph Rimmon. They tossed boulders at each other in a duel, hence why today walkers can enjoy a myriad curious boulder stones along this edge.
Accessible from Uppermill, one of many routes uses the Oldham Way via Pobgreen (where good quality pub grub from the Church Inn comes highly recommended) up to the tops. The OS Map OL1 will show numerous options for short, circular walks. Otherwise, for a slightly longer walk, use the smaller Dove Stone Reservoir car park beside the A635/Holmfirth Road, enjoy a circuit of the reservoir before attempting a steep climb up Alderman’s Hill to the large plateaued top, where stunning 360° views won’t fail to take your breath away.
Facts were drawn from and further information can be found at: