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Three Shires Head

OS Grid ref:- SK009685

Three Shires Head in the Peak District National Park is a highly picturesque point on Axe Edge Moor where the counties of Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire meet and is the meeting point of four pack-horse trails.The area is between 360 and 450 metres above sea level. Axe Edge Moor is an upland area of heather, peat-groughs and abandoned coal-mines, with superb views in all directions.

Three Shires Head

In the eighteenth century, Three Shires Head was a place where criminals and coiners evaded capture from the forces of the law by crossing into a neighbouring county as then it was only possible for police to act within their own county limits.

The old stone packhorse bridge and the waterfalls on the River Dane are highly attractive, Panniers Pool, by the bridge is where the packhorse ponies with their heavy panniers or saddlebags would have quenched their thirst. Packhorse trains, strings of up to 40 and even 50 horses, were the principal means of transporting goods from the medieval period up till the seventeenth century. Due to the fact that packhorses could travel over the moors much more easily than wagons, packhorses were still being used in the Peak District well into the nineteenth century.

Three Shires Head

The beauty spot is not easily accessed, it may be reached on foot from a variety of locations beside either the A53 or A54. The walk of more than a mile crosses over very rough and often boggy terrain.

Image 1 copyright Rob Bendall

A walk to Three Shires Head from the Goyt Valley

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