I have memories of this inn as the final checkpoint in the Four Inn Walk. It then had a reputation as being bleak and inhospitable. On a humid summer’s evening it would seem benign and tranquil if it weren’t for the roar of traffic on the A537 between Macclesfield and Buxton.
At 515 metres (1,689 ft) above sea level the Cat & Fiddle claims to be the second-highest inn in England (behind Yorkshire with Tan Hill). It was built in 1813 and the name Cat & Fiddle is not an uncommon pub name. There are many theories for origin of the name, all a corruption of French phrases containing the word fidèle meaning faithful:
- le chat fidèle (the faithful cat)
- Caton le Fidèle (a former governor of Calais)
- Catherine la Fidèle (Catherine of Aragon)
My gut feeling is that the last one seems the most plausible.