|Location Map ( geo)|
The Snake Pass is a transpennine crossing on the A57 between Manchester and Sheffield in the Peak District. It reaches a maximum altitude of 1678 feet, making it one of the first pennine routes to be closed by snow.
It could well be assumed that the name of the road is derived from its winding route, but it originally derives from the emblem of Duke of Devonshire, which has a coiled snake on it. The Snake Inn bears the Duke's crest, and is one of the few buildings on this high stretch of road. The Snake Inn has been renamed the Snake Pass Inn, so the pub is now named after the pass which was originally named after the pub!
The name of the road between the outskirts of Glossop and the junction with the A6013 at Ladybower is actually Snake Road, with only the highest point by Featherbed Top taking the name Snake Pass. However, in informal use, Snake Pass (or The Snake) refers to the whole route.
The road was first built as a turnpike road in 1820 as the most direct route between Manchester and Sheffield cities. However, by the 20th century the Woodhead Pass (on the A628 to the north became the main route, being a much less arduous route. This remains the case today, as the Snake Pass is a non-primary A-road, and the Woodhead Pass is a Trunk Route.
In January 2008, the road was closed due to a landslip caused by the wet winter. It remained closed for a month, and was only passable to one lane of traffic until the following summer.