Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca
Showing posts with label Lymm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lymm. Show all posts

Friday, 4 January 2019

Friday 4 January 2019 – Around Oughtrington

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At very short notice, five of us turned up for this Friday morning ramble around Oughtrington and Lymm Dam, starting in Lymm town centre.

After watching the dismemberment of Lymm Cross (or were they just taking down the Christmas decorations?), we headed to the end of Pepper Street and then down Sutch Lane to cross the Bridgewater Canal via Lloyd’s Bridge.

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Then an easy towpath stroll took us past Lymm Marina, where ‘The Duke’ was in residence next to ‘The Mistress’.

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Here’s today’s gang – Sue, Keith, Carol and Paul. Happy to be out in the fresh air, but needing to walk briskly to stay warm.

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We crossed back over the canal at Agden Bridge and took easy field paths back towards Lymm. Jen Darling covers this route in her ‘Walks in North Cheshire’ book, but it’s roughly the reverse of a route that I’ve taken on numerous occasions, sometimes on a summer’s evening.

Rather than follow Jen’s route straight back to Lymm, I prefer to take a path around Lymm Dam and over Crosfield Bridge before descending to one of Lymm’s excellent cafés. Sexton’s Tea Rooms were today’s choice.

There’s an information board describing the wildlife of Lymm Dam. It doesn’t mention the resident cormorants.

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Crosfield Bridge gets ever more dilapidated.

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Below the next picture, which shows the bridge in all its faded glory, is an extract from Lymm Village’s website with a bit of historical information.

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The History of Lymm Dam

The creation and development of one of Lymm's most well-known beauty spots

Turnpike trust

In the early part of the 19th Century a road was constructed by the Turnpike Trust between Warrington and Stockport. The Trust had been granted the right to charge a toll fare on this road which is now the present day A56. It seems that even back then there was concern over traffic congestion as local opposition prevented the road from coming through the centre of the village. A toll bar was placed on the road of the Church slope which is still sometimes referred to as 'Penny Hill' today. The only way of crossing the valley below the Church was via a path leading to a footbridge over what was then 'a pool and stream'. They therefore began to construct an earth dam across the valley in 1824 and as a consequence the lake known today as Lymm Dam was created.

Beechwood estate

At the time of Lymm Dam's creation, the area it was constructed on was part of the Lymm Hall Estate which owned much of the village. The estate was split into sections in 1848 and several were sold off including what is now Lymm Dam, Lymm Rugby Club and the area of land between. The section of the estate which comprised Lymm Dam was bought by a local solicitor named Thomas Ridgeway. Ridgeway built 'a large opulent manor house' at the site which is now Lymm Rugby Club on Crouchley Lane. He lived here in the house and the estate which were known as 'Beechwood' for 20 years before he sold the estate to a Cotton Trader from Manchester called George Dewhurst. Dewhurst had a considerable level of influence in Lymm and figured prominently in the Victorian village for many years at the time. He and his family lived on the Beechwood estate until the close of the 19th Century. By this time they had largely withdrawn from life in the village.

The house was eventually demolished in the 1930s but some of aspects of the estate still remain today. What are today Lymm Rugby Club's changing rooms were once the old stable block, and the wall which runs alongside the pitch was part of the horses' exercise paddock. The stone archway which featured as the entrance to the Beechwood estate can still be found along Crouchley Lane. Furthermore, the Wishing Bridge round Lymm Dam and the small boat house are also legacies of the Dewhurst era.

William Lever

The land was then owned by a man called William Lever who intended to make considerable changes to the area. It was he who constructed the large concrete bridge at the southern end of Lymm Dam known as the Crosfield Bridge. He was also accountable for the avenues which border Lymm Dam, these currently being Lakeside Road, The Avenue and the bridleway running along the eastern boundary of Lymm Dam. The avenues were planted with alternating Lombardy poplar and English elm trees. Lever had planned to use these avenues as part of a residential development to house his workers. However, for reasons unknown*, the houses were never built.

The Crosfield Bridge and the rows of trees which lead up to it stand as a legacy of a period of Lymm Dam's history and serve as a reminder of how different the site could have looked today. Unfortunately the elm trees died due to Dutch elm disease in the 1980s, however the poplars remain and have become one of Lymm Dam's most recognisable features clearly visible from a distance.

* There is some debate about whether the soap baron (Lever) did a deal with the salt baron whereby they would not interfere with each other’s activities. As Lymm is in a ‘salt’ area, Lever may have abandoned his project in order to protect his wider interests.

Here’s today’s route – 10 km with about 50 metres ascent (ie – flat), taking a couple of hours.

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Thursday, 6 April 2017

Sunday 2 April 2017 – A Walk Around Lymm

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After the excitement of supporting the Manchester Marathon, Sue, Ken and I took a 15 minute drive to Lymm for a short stroll around its scenic delights, starting past the familiar Bulls Head and continuing to the old cottages beside the Lower Dam, pictured above.

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The higher reservoir, known as Lymm Dam, is much larger and is reached from the village by a series of steps up a mossy path. Cormorants, and many ducks and other birds live here.

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It’s a two to three kilometre walk around the lake. Delightful on this sunny Sunday afternoon, despite the crowds.

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A short walk along the main road led to a left turn down a ginnel that Ken wanted to call a snicket, (lets just say it was an alleyway), took us to a lane that linked with a path to St Peter’s Church in Oughtrington. From this elevated position the walker gains fine views to central Manchester, and to Winter Hill and the South Pennines to the north.

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Pleasant field paths lead on in an easterly direction, now with good views towards the Peak District, eventually dropping to the Bridgewater Canal at Agden Bridge, from where the towpath provides a direct route back to Lymm.

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Butterbur and daffodils were still in bloom across the canal from the boatyards at Agden Wharf. It really was a lovely spring day.

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The recent dry weather had dried out the towpath nicely, so no mud was encountered as we strolled on through Oughtrington and back to Lymm.

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Here’s our route – just over 10 km; allow a good couple of hours.

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The following morning Ken left us to join Helen in Chesterfield and then travel to his dad’s in the South for the latter’s 93rd birthday celebrations. It was great to have them both to stay and we hope the rest of their trip has gone well.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Thursday 23 January 2014 – An Evening Walk around Lymm

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The rain stopped just in time for us to enjoy our first evening stroll of the year – a very simple 6.5 km route from the Bulls Head along the Trans Pennine Trail (disused railway line) to Thelwall, and back along the rather more muddy towpath of the Bridgewater Canal.

Andrew turned up to bag a trio of dates in the summer for his popular ‘Deepest Cheshire’ series of evening walks, and with good ale and in the peace of the bar (the lounge was humming with noisy post work activity) we filled in the other ‘TBA’ venues for the remainder of our programme of evening walks. I’ve since edited them slightly.

The walk proceeded with frequent pauses to admire the night sky in weather that seemed more like April than January. There was nobody else about.

The evening walk details will be put on www.topwalks.com/evenings.htm shortly, but in case you want to note them from here, they are as follows, all starting at 7.30pm:

Thursday 20 February
Timperley to Altrincham, via the Swan with Two Nicks (10 km)
Meet 7.15 at our house, or 7.30 outside Timperley Metro Station

Thursday 20 March
Worsley Woods – up to 12 km from Eccles Metro Station, via a pub en route

Tuesday 15 April
Wincle - an 8km stroll starting at 7.30 pm from the Ship Inn at Wincle (SJ 962 653), going up to Hanging Stone then down to Lud's Church, returning by the Dane Valley

Thursday 1 May
Deepest Cheshire (1) – from the Red Lion, Goostrey (next to the church) SJ 780 700

Thursday 12 June
Deepest Cheshire (2) – from the Church Inn, Mobberley (next to the church) SJ 791 802

Friday 20 June
South Lakes – from The Wheatsheaf in Beetham (on the A6 just south of Milnthorpe) - a 7.5 km walk overlooking the Kent Estuary and featuring the Fairy Steps

Thursday 7 August
Deepest Cheshire (3) – from the Swettenham Arms, Swettenham (next to the church – Andrew’s sudden recourse to religion has got me wondering) SJ 800 672

Wednesday 27 August
Cheshire - around Marton – meet at the Davenport Arms, Marton (SJ 850 683)

Tuesday 9 September
A circuit around Marple – meet at the Midland Hotel in Marple Bridge

Thursday 9 October
An evening on the Sandstone Trail – details to follow

Thursday 13 November (provisional)
Around Styal – meet at the Ship Inn

Thursday 18 December
Shutlingsloe - our regular 5 km yomp - starting at 7.30pm from Trentabank car park (SJ 960 711), adjourning for Christmas Ale at the Leather's Smithy in Langley.

Also, anyone wishing to see our ‘Pyrenean Adventure’ slideshow is welcome to join us on Wednesday 26 February at Hazel Grove Civic Centre (8 pm), where we are doing a presentation for SWOG.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Tuesday 29 January 2013 – Around Lymm

Sue and Andrew rush along the Bridgewater Canal towpath at night

I’d arranged the first of this year’s evening walks to start from the Saracen’s Head in Warburton, knowing that it was a favoured watering hole for some of the more active members of Timperley’s community.

It didn’t work; the only person to actively join Sue and me tonight was Andrew, who had travelled from Deepest Cheshire.  Having said that, I had a déjà vu moment when I thought I spotted Dave Scruby, a former regular on the predecessor of these pages, in the bar.  It couldn’t have been?…  Not to worry, we enjoyed a very pleasant couple of hours on good paths once we’d left the pavement to join the course of the old Warrington and Altrincham Junction Railway line just beyond the Green Dragon, which on reflection would have been a better starting point.

That took us westwards to a bridleway that led into the centre of Lymm, from where the Bridgewater Canal guided us past the odd dog walker for a short stretch to the next bridge, and then a muddy(ish) field path to join a lane near the sadly demised Railway Hotel.

Sue and Andrew are pictured above on the canal towpath, in an image which demonstrates that I’ve not yet got to grips with a new ‘wet weather’ camera.  More on that later; Timperley Towers is currently suffering from severe technology overload.

The railway line now provided easy walking in the direction of Altrincham, and it didn’t seem long before we arrived at a new Bollin Valley Way information board where we joined well marked field paths that led all the way back to Warburton and our second beer of the night at the Saracen’s Head. This section of the Bollin Valley Way has recently been refurbished with new kissing gates and clear signposts, so was easy to follow – even in the dark. In fact the ambient light eliminated any need for torches at any point on this pleasant walk on a warm, if overcast, January evening.

It’s about 10km (6 miles) and took us a couple of hours. The route is shown below.

A 10km circuit from the Saracen's Head

Here are examples of the shiny new Bollin Valley Way ‘furniture’.

Kissing gate on the Bollin Valley WaySignposting on the Bollin Valley Way

The walk passes St Werburgh's Church, Warburton, twice.  This is the new church (below left), but slightly off-route is a second St Werburgh's Church, with a fine lych gate, (below right).

St Werburgh's Church, Warburton (new)St Werburgh's Church, Warburton (old)

There’s more here on these interesting churches.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Friday 23 November 2012 – Out on a Lymm

Starting outside Altrincham's Clock Tower

This was a fine day for Rick’s final recce for an East Lancs LDWA walk that he is leading next Wednesday.  Viv and Steve also arrived on time, but JJ was a mere speck in the distance.  He was afforded the benefit of the doubt and we waited for him, though next week such stragglers run the risk of being abandoned, victims of traditional LDWA punctuality.

We started from Altrincham’s Clock Tower, a grade 11 listed structure built in 1880, a year before Altrincham & Bowdon Station (renamed Altrincham Station in 1974) opened to replace earlier stations, and made our way to Goose Green, where some metallic peacocks glowered at us from a lofty pedestal. JJ, having caught up, demanded sustenance from Costello’s. Luckily the bar was closed or the recce may have ended here!

We trundled through the streets of Altrincham, plodding up Regent Road before turning down Normans Place, where none other than Norman himself made a brief if rather threatening appearance before resuming his official duties as a Barber and House Husband.

A Bad Penny

Normans Place leads to the salubrious surroundings of Lyme Grove, before launching the unwary walker down Bowdon Road and then onto a slippery meadow known as The Devisdale that leads to Denzell Gardens.  These gardens and The Devisdale sadly fell into neglect between 1980 and the late 1990s, before being restored by a Friends' Group, whose work continues to this day.

Our route then passed by Denzell House, which was built in 1874 as a home for Henry Scott, who sadly never occupied it due to his death in the Zulu Wars. It is now used for offices.

Denzell House

The path emerges onto Green Walk at a Lych Gate which is in the process of restoration. The word 'Lych' survived into modern English from the Old English or Saxon word for corpse. In the Middle Ages when most people were buried in just shrouds rather than coffins, the dead were carried to the Lych gate and placed on a bier, where the priest conducted the first part of the funeral service under its temporary shelter.

The Lych Gate entry to Denzell Gardens

Across the main A56 road, the path skirts Dunham Forest Golf Club before heading into Dunham Massey Park, where the roe deer didn’t seem too nervous despite their annual cull having been carried out during the previous few days.

Roe deer at Dunham Massey

Rick had carefully planned the route to keep as far as possible from the nearby headquarters of the Dunham Massey Brewing Company (insofar as Costello’s Bar isn’t their real HQ), as a safeguard against JJ’s wayward tendencies.

We paused to identify black-headed gulls, mallards, moorhens, coots and a shoveler, amongst the bird life on Island Pond in Dunham Park, whilst keeping a wary eye on JJ, far behind us, presumably muttering stuff like ‘Where’s that brewery, I know it’s here somewhere, I want some…’

We pressed on to Dunham Massey Hall, which dates from 1616 but has subsequently been 're-modeled', for a coffee break’.

It was Viv's birthday. Just as well I'd brought cake!

Viv, with some birthday cake

The narrow bridge over the River Bollin offered a good view of the spate that fully justified its ‘river’ status, compared with its usual stream like qualities as it flows over a weir.

Beyond the Swan With Two Nicks we joined the Bridgewater Canal towpath for a short stretch down to Agden, where Rick pointed out a listed structure.  “I’m not joking” he assured us, “It's The Bridgewater Canal, Case to Waterpoint on South Bank of Canal, 15 Metres West of Agden Bridge, Agden."

“Wow!” we exclaimed in unison, squinting at the black casing…

Listed structure by the Bridgewater Canal

We left the canal here in favour of a route through fields to Lymm, familiar to me as a summer evening route. We crossed one field then hugged the perimeter of others, noting the singular absence of any bird life on the recently planted fields by Helsdale Wood.

We passed St Peter's Church, where one of our North American correspondents still wants a picture of the font.  [I’ve found one here – it’s reproduced below.]

 St Peter's Church Lymm - the font

Continuing through the ginnels of Lymm, we soon reached St Mary's Church, which overlooks Lymm Dam, Lymm's ornamental lake.

We paused beside the lake for lunch, and for JJ to catch his breath. The picnic tables are rather widely spaced, so Rick will have a battle to keep his wandering charges together on next week’s ‘proper walk’.

A cormorant flew past as we set off again.

"Is that Lymm Dam?" asked Steve as we rounded the southern aspect of the lake, confirming that it was a bit early in the day to get any sense out of him.

Steve points out Lymm Dam

We headed next for Lymm Village, where the ducks as usual played on the weir, the males vying to impress the females by showing how close they could get to the edge without being swept away.

Lymm Village

It was a struggle to distract some (mainly one) of our party from the local fleshpots, but eventually he spotted Lymm Cross, another listed structure dating from C17, and decided to scarper from the nearby stocks.

The path to Oughtrington took us through another newly planted field to Heatley, where we emerged near the site of the sadly demised Railway Hotel, another listed structure. Gone. This used to be the home of Bernard Cromarty’s Lymm Folk Club, and the fire that destroyed the old pub on 2 November 2011 must have deeply saddened him and other members of the folk club.

Opposite the building site that used to be the Railway Hotel, the Warrington and Altrincham Junction Railway line provides a fairly quick off-road route to Altrincham for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.  Nearby, Heatley & Warburton Railway Station opened in 1853 and closed in 1962, but the building survives, beyond which Rick led our merry brigade along the good track.

On the Warrington and Altrincham Junction Railway line

Even Rick’s military schedule allowed time for a final bout of tea and cake, but despite this sustenance JJ was now flagging and, muttering ‘Costello’s’ under his breath every few moments, he continued to struggle to keep up with Rick's cracking pace.

However, we soon entered the outskirts of Altrincham, where the school kids had just escaped from lessons and children and pensioners alike were enjoying the play furniture in John Leigh Park.

The sun had almost gone by the time we returned back to the Clock Tower and JJ’s long cherished wish for a visit to Costello's was finally granted.

A full slideshow (51 images) of this classic round can be found here.

The route, shown below, proved to be around 24-25 km (15 miles) with minimal ascent, taking less than 6 hours, so next week’s ramble should easily finish by 4 pm and Rick can sleep easy in the meantime after this most enjoyable recce.

The route is around 24-25 km (15 miles) with minimal ascent, taking less than 6 hours

My Garmin Gadget recorded our progress as follows – if you click on ‘View Details’ then on the ‘Out on a Lymm’ course and magnify it you can see precisely where it goes, with street names, etc, not on the OS map.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Sunday Afternoon with The Pixies at Lymm Dam

The sandy bank at Lymm Dam, overseen by St Mary's Church

Slightly out of order, this short posting is really for Hazel and the Pixies, who joined us for a ‘Hide and Seek’ walk and explore in the vicinity of Lymm Dam on 18 March, at the start of this remarkable spell of early spring weather.

There’s a short (13 pics) slideshow here.

Next time:  shall we introduce some Geocaches to the ‘Hide and Seek’ fun?

Monday, 14 November 2011

Thursday 10 November 2011 – An Evening Stroll from The Vine

The Bridgewater Canal near Lymm

Andrew joined Sue and me at the Vine in Dunham Woodhouses for a cheap beer, before strolling down the Trans Pennine Trail and back to the Vine along the canal towpath.  We were joined in the Vine by four rather battered cyclists.  It seemed they had been involved in a multiple pile-up.  We took it that some wild driver had seen them off the road, but eventually they admitted that their leader had lost control and the others had piled into him.  It all sounded rather farcically slapstick, but they were leaking genuine red fluid and sporting considerable grazes etc.  We left them tucking into their second beers.

It was a delightfully calm, warm, November evening.  We’d have paused for an extra beer at the fine hostelry pictured above across the glassy canal, but the ferry wasn’t working, so after 9km and two hours we enjoyed the old-fashioned ambience of the Vine, again. 

The cyclists had left.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Wednesday 28 September 2011 - Lymm

The Bridgewater Canal at Lymm

Summer has arrived.  I took the old Shogun Trailbreaker bike on a 15 mile circuit from home to Halfacre Lane in Thelwall and back, on a beautifully sunny afternoon, returning through Lymm, beside the Bridgewater Canal.

I’m still using this old steel bike for flat trips such as this, but the new bike, ‘Stumpy’ will get its first outing soon.

A reminder to anyone who fancies a bit of exercise on Sunday 9 October:  the Calderdale Mountain Bike Marathon – a challenge, not a race – will accept postal entries until after the weekend.  Otherwise you can enter on the day.

It’s great fun!  A superb route.

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