The Moon of Gomrath
by Alan Garner
In the sequel to The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, Colin and Susan are again up against old magic and monsters, with the Morrigan seeking revenge for her slighting in the first book. As before, much of the action is set on and around Alderley Edge, where the children meet up with Cadellin.
The action this time also takes in Shining Tor and nearby Errwood Hall. Here, there’s a set piece battle (between elves and dwarves on the one side, and goblins and wild cats on the other) as the children and their companions try to stop the Morrigan and end her scheming. Just as all seems lost, the Wild Hunt - earlier roused unintentionally by the children, and summoned now by a horn Angharad Goldenhand has given Susan - come riding to the rescue.
The De Trafford Arms
Building work outside the De Trafford Arms in Alderley revealed an old thirty foot shaft half filled with water. In the book, it is this uncovering that releases the long imprisoned Brollachan, the ancient evil that possesses Susan. Colin has to follow the old, straight track - seen only by the light of the full moon - that leads from the Beacon to Shining Tor, where he finds the magic plant that will complete her recovery.
Getting there: the pub is in Alderley Edge village, at the A34/B5087 junction.
The Beacon, Alderley Edge: it’s here that Colin and Susan light the fire, kindled with rowan twigs, that unintentionally summons up the Einheriar of the Herlathing, the riders of the Wild Hunt. “The flames were a scarlet curtain between hill and sky, and within them, and part of them, were three men ... Red were they all, weapons and clothing and hair, both horses and men.”
Getting there: The site of a Bronze Age burial mound, the original beacon was built here as part of a chain to warn of invasion. The stone building that housed the fire basket was demolished after storm damage in 1931; the present day memorial dates from 1961.
The Edge itself is east of Alderley Edge village on the B5087; there’s a car park is on the left just after “The Wizard”.
Broad Hill: the final stop on the wild ride that rouses all the Einheriar - “They turned towards Alderley and the Beacon hill, and for a long time after the tracks of their horses endured in the turf and on the rocks with the fury of their riding, and the air behind them was all aglow with little sparks”
Getting there: From Siddington take the B5392 to Lower Withington, and turn left on to Trap Street. Broad Hill is on the left, opposite Lower Welltrough Farm.
The gates at Errwood Hall. “Susan stepped through the gateway, and as she did, someone rose out of the shadow of the wall ... His spear was like a leaf, and his body was covered with flat locks of hair, dense as scales.”
Errwood Hall is where the Morrigan holds Colin prisoner, and where she pens in the Brollachan.
Susan first sees the Hall in the moonlight; by day “the towered, glowing house was a pile of masonry and shattered walls, bracken and nettle showing through the rubble, gaunt with window arches.”
Getting there: Built in 1840-41, Errwood Hall is now no more than ruins. It’s just west of the lower end of the Errwood Reservoir in the Peak District.
There’s a car park at the foot of the reservoir, best reached by taking the Goyt Valley road signed off the A537 as you approach the “Cat and Fiddle” from Macclesfield.