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Monday, 25 November 2013

Swarkstone Junction on the Trent & Mersey Canal

It was a short hop down to Swarkstone and we arrived there about 08:00. None of us had been before. It was Geoff's turn to drive and we parked up at Swarkstone Lock. It was a nice flat footpath all the way along the canal part paved but mostly just grass and in places a bit muddy. We passed a few barges and spotted a kingfisher sitting on a tiller on one of them. When we approached if flew off but kept close by. Rob and myself thought we would try to photograph it on the way back. We passed by a memorial to the murdered girl Lynn Siddons with some fresh flowers on it. One of the bridges had a load of rubbish dumped on it and whoever does that sort of thing should be flogged!!!

This bridge is over the old Derby canal, sadly now filled in.

Spur of the Derby Canal off the Trent & Mersey.

Swarkstone Lock

Memorial to Lynn Siddons

Rubbish been tipped onto the bridge.

I think the Kingfisher got more fish than this chap

Kingfisher waiting to pounce on a fish

I'm not an ugly duckling

This was a cracking little walk just under 4 miles along nice flat tracks. Walking along canal banks is a lovely quiet experience with just the wildlife and water making gentle sounds. Priceless.
See you next week.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Throwley Old Hall

After a week away on holiday in Scotland  i returned to the fold.  The boys sent me a text last week telling me they had been to a place that i hadn't. Well this week they put that right and we went over to Staffordshire to visit the ruins of Throwley Old Hall. We parked at the car park next to Weags Bridge which spans over the river Manifold. We parked up at about 07:45 in an area that Geoff tells us was a railway station. The walk took us towards Beeston Tor and we just followed the footpath up quite a steep incline levelled off and then down to Throwley Hall Farm and the ruins of Throwley Old Hall.
Apparently where i parked the car is where a small station used to be, opened by the narrow gauge (2' 6") Leek and Manifold Valley Light Railway on 27 June 1904, whilst being entirely operated by the North Staffordshire Railway. The station had no siding – unlike most of the stations on the line – but there was a refreshment room. The line closed in 1934, and the route of the railway past the station is now designated the Manifold Way,
Rob & Ike

Beeston Tor is a limestone cliff in Staffordshire. It overlooks the confluence of the River Hamps with the River Manifold, and is popular with climbers

Beeston Tor in the background

Ike & Rob heading to that group of trees on the horizon

Derelict barn


Mud, mud glorious mud

Ike & Rob silhouetted on the horizon

Track leading down to Throwley Hall farm

This has seen better days

Brilliant old farm building must have been part of the Throwley Hall complex.

Throwley Old Hall stands on a commanding hill looking down the Manifold Valley. Built in the 1603 as an important manor house, but it is now a ruin. The carved stone windows of the tower’s three storeys still look out across the surrounding countryside. There was also a thriving village here in medieval times, but it may have been abandoned before the Hall was built.

The ruins originally formed part of the east wing of a much larger hall. The Old Hall probably replaced a much earlier Medieval manor house, for which no evidence survives.

The manor house was built for Simon Meverell, a relative of the Meverell family to whom Throwley belonged from 1203 to the mid 17th century. The house passed to Charles Cotton on his marriage to the widow of the last of the Meverells, but was later allowed to go to ruin. What remains is currently being made safe and restored by English Heritage.

Throwley Old Hall is one of the most imposing and architecturally important ruins in the Peak District National Park. The building stands on what was once an extensive Medieval landscape. This landscape of fields, cultivation strips and other earthworks, reflecting the centuries that people have farmed this area, continues down the lower Manifold Valley.

Window detail

There are 2 information boards on the site.

This is where we had our breakfast

Mummy & baby

We had a great display of starlings

Views of Beeston Tor way below in the Manifold Valley

Geoff just loves the mud

Ike & Geoff

Rob in the middle of the river Manifold standing on one of the stepping stones.

Beeston Tor with the stepping stones

Rob just testing the moss.

Fence post with its winter moss hat on

Last shot of the day Weags Bridge.
This was just short of 4 miles topping out at 908 feet, with a bit of mud on parts of the track and a great historic house at the end of it. Cracking day.
See you next week