There is good reason to believe that this strange gloomy cleft in the limestone, where the Back Wood slopes down to the valley of the River Dane, is the Green Chapel of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. But there is something sinister in its atmosphere. Even in daylight you can sense that Lud’s Church is haunted – not only by the fearsome Bosley Boggart but also, perhaps, by the ghost of poor Alice, granddaughter of William de Ludauk, a Lollard captured by Lancastrian soldiers on this spot around 1400 CE. During the skirmish, Alice was killed. Moreover, mysterious ‘earth lights’ have been seen there.
It is tempting to suppose that Lud’s Church was named because it was where de Ludauk and his fellow-Lollards held their services, but some authorities say the opposite is true. According to this viewpoint, Lud’s Church was named after the Celtic god Ludd, and de Ludauk took his name from the place, ‘auk’ being an Old English dialect word for temple.
Whatever the truth of the matter, Lud’s Church is an impressive landscape feature.
In Mark P. Henderson, Folktales of the Peak District, Amberley Publishing, 2011, there is a brief account of this episode on page 89 but a discussion of the different perspectives in the endnotes on pp. 150-151.