There is a curious pool located within the Dell Nature reserve in Cotton. These are known locally as ‘Adam’s pool’s’.
It is known that these pools are artificial, have no recorded origin and could have been stewponds made by the original Cistercians monks of Cotton abbey.
Adam himself was Adam Ratcliffe, a semi-hermit of the last century, who lived in a mud hut by the pools and made some sort of living by wheeling barrow loads of coal up from Oakamoor at sixpence a load
Further up the hill towards the road there is some flat ground and what are believed to be the remnants of some ancient buildings and could well have been where the original monks settled in 1176.
It could also be the case that both buildings and pool may be something to do with the blast furnace which is known to have stood until about 1800 on the site of the second house down the lane by the pools, occupied for many years by the Collier family.
This blast furnace is said to have given the famous Star Inn pub its name.
Walking around these ancient parts of cotton there are remnants of an old wall which looks like it could easily be almost three centuries old.
The reason why it stands here next to the pool will remain a mystery but there is a real sense of peace and tranquillity here by the pool, sitting at the bottom of the hilly field but at the top of the dell and the ancient woodland that occupies so much of this incredible landscape.
It is fascinating to think that the pool which sits here today undisturbed in this quiet place could be almost a millennia old and have been witness to the very first monks who first settled in this area and went on to form Croxden abbey a few miles away. Locals who lived in this area throughout the centuries would have been familiar with it and known this spot well.