Bottom's Bridge and Oldknow's legacy
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We will start our 9 mile walk by walking down to Marple Bridge then up the High Street and along Low Lea Road to the site of Samuel Oldknow's mill, known as Mellor Mill it was built in 1790, steadily being upgraded and expanded until it unfortunately burnt down in 1892. Much of the stonework was robbed out over the years, before final demolition and infill taking place in the 1950s. From 2014 to 2018 there was an archaeological project to excavate and catalogue the site, with the remains being made safe and accessible for visitors, this project included excavating the remains of Samuel Oldknow's former home a short walk away along with other projects around Marple.
We will continue up the Goyt Valley, past Roman Lakes (the origin of whose name has been subject to some debate), and on to Strines, where we will cross the river before heading up to the Peak Forest Canal. The canal is another part of Oldknow's legacy, as he was one of the main promoters of the scheme. Walking along the canal back towards Marple we will get some fantastic views up the valley towards Whaley Bridge and the Peak District.
Having passed Tramroad Wharf, which was the temporary terminus of the canal whilst the Marple lock flight was being constructed, allowing boat cargoes to be offloaded onto wagons on a temporary tramway down to the lower section of the canal for onward shipment to Ashton, Manchester and beyond, we reach the junction with the Macclesfield canal, which today forms part of the Cheshire Ring canal cruising route. This is also the top of the Marple lock flight, which we will descend down to Marple Aqueduct, visiting Oldknow's lime kilns along the way.
At 100 feet above the Goyt Valley, Marple Aqueduct is the tallest canal aqueduct in England, being a very graceful 3-arch Romanesque structure. Having crossed the aqueduct we will descend down to the river Goyt, passing beneath the aqueduct and the nearby railway viaduct, following the river to Compstall Bridge. We will then follow the Midshires Way into Brabyn's Park and the end of the walk back at Brabyn's Brow.
All pictures copyright Jeffrey Buck, may be reproduced on Outdoor Lads event pages free of charge
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What to bring
This walk is largely along wide, well maintained paths, although some areas can become muddy after wet weather, so a good pair of walking boots and a set of waterproofs are recommended.
Food & drink
At least two litres of water are recommended for this walk, and we will be eating lunch en route. There are no shops along the way, so you will need to have everything you need before we set off. There is a convenience store in Marple Bridge for any last minute supplies.