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Monday, 19 May 2014

Croxden Abbey, Rocester & the JCB World Headquarters.

It was my turn this week and there were only 3 of us to travel into Staffordshire again. Geoff had already been to Croxden Abbey but its somewhere i hadn't visited. It only took about 45 minutes to get there  and we parked right outside the main gate at about 06:45 ish.  Unfortunately since the boys had been previously the place is now locked up and opening time was 10:00 am. We had a wander around took a few pics then decided to have a look around Rocester village and walk around the JCB lake.

First call was to Croxden Abbey.
Croxden Abbey was a Cistercian abbey at Croxden, Staffordshire, England. In 1179, Bertram de Verdun, the lord of the manor of Croxden, endowed a site for a new abbey, and 12 monks arrived from Normandy to build the new abbey over the next 50 years. It was known as the "Abbey of the Vale of St. Mary at Croxden. The monks made a living from breeding sheep. The Abbey was consecrated in 1253. The abbey lasted for 350 years until the Dissolution of the Monasteries. In September 1538, the abbot and the twelve remaining monks surrendered the abbey.
The ruins of Croxden Abbey

The ruins of Croxden Abbey

The ruins of Croxden Abbey

The ruins of Croxden Abbey

The ruins of Croxden Abbey

The ruins of Croxden Abbey

The ruins of Croxden Abbey

The ruins of Croxden Abbey

We passed this view on the way to Rocester, wall to wall JCB's

There were a huge variety of ducks & geese on the JCB Lake

This is a nice name for the end of row cottage "Wits End" brilliant.

The centre of Rocester village
 In 1781 Richard Arkwright bought an old corn mill on the River Dove and converted it to a water-powered cotton mill. This introduced industry to a predominantly agricultural community. With industry came the canal and railway networks, and Rocester became an important trading point. The mill was a great driving force in the expansion of the village; its owners were responsible for much building in the village. The mill has now been converted into the JCB Academy. The mill remained the primary employer until the 1950s, and finally closed in 1985. By this time another major employer had arrived in the village, JCB. The present factory, on the site of the original 1950s factory, was opened in 1970 and is the world headquarters for the company.
The caption over the door says The Turbury Mill Company.

A fleet of old tractors came by as we were walking down the road

At  the bottom right hand 0of the pic is an archimedes screw which generates power from the flow of water.

The JCB Academy - Formerly the Tutbury Cotton Mill

Bridge over the river Dove

Dandelions as far as the eye can see

Dandelions and the river Dove bridge

The river Dove in front of the JCB Academy
 St Michael's,Church, Rocester was constructed in the 13th century. However, it was mostly rebuilt in 1873 although the tower is the original
St. Michaels Church Rocester

West View

St. Michaels Church and the remains of an ancient cross

This is the old Rocester Mill and weir on the river Churnet


Heron over the JCB lake

One of the sculptures dotted around the lake.

Pathway to heaven

A load of fish scrapping for a bit of ginger biscuit i chucked into water

More ducks

Oyster catcher  on its nest

Even a pair of black swans

There's more ducks on this lake than you can shake a stick at!!
This was another great little walk with a lot to take in from ancient monuments, old mills and JCB's.
See you next week.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Cheddleton Flint Mill & Churnet Valley Railway.

Geoff's turn this week and unfortunately i missed my alarm and didn't wake until 06:10 and by the time i had got myself organised i saw a red car at the door and that was me rushing even more. It was a miserable morning and when we arrived at the car park of the Churnet Valley Railway it was about 07:20.  It continued to rail so we sat in the car for a while until it stopped. The original plan was to walk to Froghall about 5 miles but we decided to stay relatively close and headed up the Caldon Canal to Cheddleton Flint Mill.
This week's walk was cut short to only 2 miles

Cheddleton Station 

The Caldon Canal

Lock on Caldon Canal

Geoff & Ike

Cheddleton Flint Mill

Lime Kilns

Cheddleton Flint Mill

Cheddleton Flint Mill

This main shaft broke in the 70's and was replaced  at a cost of £35k

Ike Rob & Geoff

The replaced shaft.

Ike, Geoff, Rob & me

Rob sheltering from the rain.This is where we had our breakfast.

Raindrops keep falling on your head ......

Lovely light on the lock

We met this couple on a barge and had a really nice chat.

Geoff snapping a canal mile post

This shows the track between the river Churnet and the Caldon canal

The Churnet Valley Railway sidings

Fishermen on the canal

Someone has fired up the stove for breakfast

Churnet Valley Railway

Geoff & Ike with one of the railway workers

Inside the workshop

Ike getting on board

The stationmaster having a cuppa
This turned out to be a great little walk with loads of interesting stuff to see, probably be back to do our original walk soon, when its not chucking it down.
See you next week.