Lud's Church – Staffordshire, England - Atlas Obscura

Lud's Church

This haunting stone chasm is a hotbed of mossy rock and English legend. 


Running between two tall walls of moss-covered stone, the natural chasm known as Lud’s Church has been a hotbed of British legend for hundreds of years, having said to have been visited by such major figures as Robin Hood and Sir Gawain. 

The so-called “church” is located in a portion of England’s Black Forest and supposedly got its name from a Christian splinter group who used the secluded gully as a secret meeting place in the 15th century. The atmosphere of Lud’s Church is that of a Black Forest fairytale where there are deep shadows, ancient moss covering nearly everything, and an almost otherworldly feel. It is no wonder then that the site has been linked with some of the country’s most prevalent myths and folktales.

Robin Hood and his Merry Men themselves are said to have taken refuge in the hidden depths of the Church, but most famously, the cleft is thought to have inspired the “Green Chapel” of the Arthurian legend, Sir Gawain and The Green Knight. In the legend Sir Gawain must travel to the Green Chapel to be executed, but is simply put to a test of wills.

Today Lud’s Church is still somewhat secret, although not so much as it once was due to its legendary associations. Nonetheless, the chasm still holds the air of a British folktale waiting to be written.

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