Windgather Rocks is a prominent landscape feature on the edge of the Peak District National Park in Cheshire.
It is a rocky outcrop and formed from Chatsworth Grits. These are coarse grimestones full of layers of mainly quartz pebbles. The rock is well cemented, which makes it hard and brittle - the quartz makes it sparkle in the sunshine. The acidic nature of the rocks means it does not contain large fossils.
During the Carboniferous Period (360-290 million years ago), the site that was to become Windgather Rocks lay over the equator. The grimestones were laid down where an ancient river once met the sea in a massive river delta. The trees and swamps of that period formed the coals that are mined today.
The vertical cracks you can see in the rocks are joints or faults. When sediment changed to rock, joints occur which allow the sediment to be compacted without deforming the resulting rock. Faults allow rocks to move against each other and sometimes result in polished surfaces known as slickenside.
The river that once flowed over this area deposited fine silt and sand. Over time, the material accumulated in layers, which were compacted to form beds or strata in the resulting rock. If you look at the rocks you can clearly see these strata and that they are not all in the same direction (but why? - see the logging question below).
In the past, the gritstone at Windgather was quarried for local buildings and walls. Millstones were also produced for crushing grain - a broken millstone can be found below the rock face.
Parking is at or around N53 18.048 W002 00.600 by the side of the road. It's then a short walk to the stated co-ordinates, where you get one of the best views of Windgather Rocks. There are usually plenty of climbers, honing their skills on the rocks.
To Log This Cache
- Email us with a brief description of why the strata in the rocks are not all in the same horizontal direction.
- As an optional extra, take a photo of you with your GPS and the Rocks in the background.
- Bonus points for anyone who can find the Millstone referred to above and post a picture of it.