The Weirdstone of Brisingamen
by Alan Garner
While staying at a farm on Alderley Edge, Colin and Susan discover that the crystal in the bracelet given her by their mother is in fact the long lost Firefrost, The Weirdsone of Brisingamen. The adventures the children have in trying to return it to its rightful guardian (Cadellin the wizard) and to its rightful place (preserving the sleeping knights under the hill) - and the various forces of darkness that they have to contend with - are the subject of the novel.
Much of the early action is set on and around Alderley Edge. A key section of of the book concerns their trials underground, in the old mines beneath the Edge. Pursued by the Morrigan, the morthbrood, and the monstrous Mara, they journey from Alderley to meet Cadellin at Shuttlingsloe, making their way through Radnor Wood and spending nights at Redesmere and in Macclesfield Forest before the final confrontation at Cluelow Cross.
Shuttlingsloe from Alderley Edge: “half a day’s tramp” that will take Colin and Susan and their companions three days, with nights spent at Redesmere and Macclesfield Forest before the final confrontation at Shuttlingsloe.
Getting there: The Edge itself is east of Alderley Edge village on the B5087. The National Trust car park is on the left just after The Wizard.
Hocker Lane as it enters Radnor Wood: it’s in Radnor Wood that the party meet Harry Wardle, chopping wood. The dwarves suspect that somethingis amiss when silence reigns after they leave him - “why has your friend’s axe been stilled?” Radnor Wood is privately owned, but you can walk through it along Hocker Lane, and from there get a good view of it as it curves across the countryside.
Getting there: Hocker Lane is a right turn off Bradford Lane, which runs east from the A34 at Nether Alderley. It can also be reached from the National Trust car park on the Edge: on the Alderley Edge page you’ll find details of a walk that takes in Clinton Hill, Hooker Lane, and Hayman’s Quarry as well as Radnor Wood.
Redesmere: “as they came to a thick screen of brush ... Susan put her head through the gap - and looked out across an apparently limitless sheet of water.”
It’s here that the party spend the first night of their journey to Shuttlingloe, safe on the floating island of Angharad Goldenhair. When the water is low, you can apparently see what do indeed
look like floating islands of vegetation.
Getting there: Redesmere is just east of the A34, the first turning (Redesmere Lane) north of the crossroads with the B5392.
Shuttlingsloe: “After a long drag uphill they came above the forest onto a bleak shelf of moorland; and out at the far side of the plateau, half a mile distant, the last few hundred feet of Shuttlinglow reared back against the paling night ... Not a tree could be seen in the gloom; only a dark line of wall, the dry stone walling of the hills, cut across the landscape.”
Getting there: there’s no road up to Shuttlingsloe itself, but it’s easily visible from the A54 and the roads that lead up from there to Macclesfield Forest - in fact, it’s clearly visible throughout much of that part of Cheshire.
The clump of trees surrounding Cluelow Cross: “so Durathor came to the pilar of stone. He put his back against it, and unclasped his belt. Loosening it, he threw it round the column, and buckled it tightly under his arms so that he should not fall.”
Getting there: Cluelow Cross is just north of the A54 west of the Fourways Hotel.