Cat and Fiddle Inn
|Cat and Fiddle Inn|
viewed from the south
|Food type||Public house|
The Cat and Fiddle Inn is the second-highest inn or public house in England (the Tan Hill Inn being the highest). The inn is situated on the eastern fringes of Cheshire in the Peak District National Park on the A537 road just west of the Derbyshire/Cheshire county boundary, on the western side of Axe Edge Moor. It is at an elevation of 1,689 feet (515 m) above sea level (although a measurement commissioned by a former landlord suggested a figure of 1,772 feet (540 m), which would surpass that of the Tan Hill Inn). The Ordnance Survey have fixed an accurately measured flush-bracket benchmark to the front wall of the pub. The height of this flush bracket is 515.1984 metres (1,690 ft 3.40 in), and the flush bracket is 0.4 metres (16 in) above the ground level, which casts doubt over the validity of the private survey.
The inn is the last on the 45-mile (72 km) Four Inns Walk, held annually in spring, mainly over the high moorland to the north.
Cat and Fiddle Road
The inn gives its name to the Cat and Fiddle Road: a stretch of the A537 road, linking Macclesfield to the west with Buxton to the east, which features many sharp corners. This road became notorious for the high number of accidents, particularly among motorcyclists for whom the road is often regarded as an exhilarating technical challenge; an AA survey in 2003 named it as the most dangerous stretch of road in the United Kingdom.
Various etymologies are claimed: some believe it is a corruption of le chat fidèle ('the faithful cat'); others (including Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable) that it comes from 'Caton le Fidèle' (a former governor of Calais); a third theory is that it derives from 'Catherine la Fidèle' (Catherine of Aragon).