Sunday, May 06, 2012

The things you see around Marple….

What’s that coming?DSCF0640
Oh yes, of course. It’s a spaniel riding shotgun on an inflatable canoe.DSCF0641
Enjoying every minute of it, too.

It’s been a pretty fair weekend, a bit chaotic at times with boats from both directions trying to fit under the junction bridge at the same time.
Although it was a slow start for the traffic yesterday; half a dozen of the pounds on the Marple flight had emptied overnight, so no-one could use them till BW had sorted it out. Apparently a feeder from the reservoir had failed, so there was no water being fed in from the top to keep the levels up. Sorted now, they were all fairly normal this morning.

Meg and I took a walk down to the river from here this morning, and came across Samuel Oldroyd’s Mellor Mill. Or at least the remains of a part of it. Oldroyd was a wealthy landowner in the area, at one time High Sheriff of Derby. He was also a prime mover and investor in the construction of the Peak Forest Canal. Down here alongside the river he built a six storey spinning mill, water powered (this was 1790) from the River Goyt.
It was destroyed by fire in 1892, and the site was levelled and has reverted to nature, but recently a team of industrial archaeologists have been unearthing the wheel pit which housed a huge water wheel known as the Wellington Wheel, 22 feet in diameter and 17 feet wide.
The pit had been filled with debris and old tyres, and some 120 tons of rubble were removed to uncover the stonework.

Wellington Wheel pitDSCF0649 Mellor Mill
The stonework in the pit curves to follow the diameter of the wheel, which was “breast shot”, the water entering at about axle height from the leat on the left. Steps opposite and on this side would have given access to the bearings in which the axle ran. The bearing blocks are missing, unfortunately, sold for scrap or reused elsewhere.

Looking onto the face of the wheel
DSCF0647 Mellor Mill

There’s probably lots more to be uncovered under the undergrowth.DSCF0646 Mellor Mill

Looking back down Low Leas Lane, the mill would have dominated the middle of the picture.DSCF0652 Mellor Mill

The lane leads into the pretty village of Marple Bridge.

Coming into Marple BridgeDSCF0653 Marple Bridge

Marple Bridge bridgeDSCF0654 Marple Bridge

We crossed the main road and rejoined the canal on the flight via Brabyns Park. There were some large trees brought down in the gales last weekend….

That’s a big one!DSCF0657
Couldn’t carry it back to the boat, though. It would have kept us going all year but we’d have had to tow it behind….

Back up the locks, the pounds are looking a lot better this morning…..DSCF0660
….but the gates are still leaking.DSCF0662

This afternoon we walked up onto Marple Ridge where all the posh people live. All Saints Church is unusual in that the main body of the church and the tower are separated by 40 yards. A chapel and tower were built in 1811, and then in 1875 permission was granted to extend the chapel. The architects found that the existing structure could not support the modifications, so a new church was built to the south.

All Saints, Marple. Georgian Tower…DSCF0678 All Saints, Marple
….Victorian ChurchDSCF0675 All Saints, Marple

The chapel was demolished in 1964, and the area within it’s foundation walls is now a Garden of Remembrance.

Site of the old chapelDSCF0669 All Saints, Marple

Alongside there’s a coach house with a curious inset above the door….DSCF0677 All Saints, Marple
This section of the three bay coach house housed the funeral hearse….

A little further down the hill there’s a row of five Alms Houses, endowed by Elizabeth Bridge, who’s husband was a native of Marple, following his death. They were built “for the use of five poor widows, natives of Marple” and still provide subsidised housing for elderly residents.

Elizabeth Bridge’s Alms HousesDSCF0680 Cottages
I bet there’s a waiting list.

It’s a short distance down the hill back to the canal.

It’s not all been nosying about; I’ve got the paint and canvas damage repaired on the front of the cabin.

Paintwork sortedDSCF0663 Paintwork Repair
It’s prompted me to do a job that I‘ve been putting off; repainting the top rails. Just need a few days of settled weather.

We’ll be moving on tomorrow, south towards Macclesfield.

Locks 0, miles 0.

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