Peakland beauty spot where wallabies roam(ed)…

Barrie Farnsworth finds out why The Roaches is such a fascinating corner of the Peak District.

IT may be just over the border in Staffordshire, but The Roaches is still a lovely part of the world. This gritstone escarpment, offering stunning views, is one of the Peak District’s gems and a superb place for a walk. The name might seem a touch strange, but it is believed that the French phrase ‘Les Roches’, meaning the rocks, was simply anglicised to The Roaches. Whatever its name, it was the home of what sounds like an April Fool’s joke: there was a colony of wallabies living wild in this corner of the Peak District since 1940.

Strange but true: Henry Courtney Brocklehurst had a private menagerie, including wallabies, yaks, llamas and apes, on his brother’s Swythamley Hall estate…

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