Lud's Church

Digital, 2017

The remote locations of our world conjure up images of lonely and forgotten regions where few venture – places to hide from others, and places of sanctuary.

This picture was inspired by a walk through the mysterious crevice known as Lud’s Church, hidden away in the Black Forest of the Staffordshire countryside near Gradbach.  It may have once been a 15th century Pagan worshiping ground and is rumoured to be haunted by a ghostly green man.  It is also believed to be the basis for the Green Chapel of the medieval poem ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’, and we cannot be surprised that such a romantic setting would lend itself to tales of the unknown and supernatural.

Inevitably, it would equally attract the renegades who seek to hide from the authorities of their time – it is said that Robin Hood, Friar Tuck and Bonny Prince Charlie are all reputed to have hidden within this chasm.  Which causes us to wonder what lies around the next corner of this gloomy cleft in the rocks.  It might be welcoming or threatening.  It might be a danger that is very much of this world.  Or it might be something entirely different...

Text: Richard Hayes