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Tuesday, 4 June 2013

New Mills.

We walked into New Mills this morning after completing some household jobs aboard. The sun was shining down so it was a pleasure to be walking around somewhere new. I had heard of a walk down the River Goyt Valley so we made for the Heritage Centre to find out what was what. A very helpful chap set us along the Heritage trial that took in all the sights of the place. New Mills is built above the very steep cuttings above the meeting of the Rivers Sett and Goyt. The gorges were cut during the last ice period when there usual route was blocked by glaciers and they eroded their way through the sandstone ridge. The place was named New Mills after a rebuilt mill in 1391! The base of the gorge was home for several corn mills, then woolen and followed by cotton mills, along with various other industries. With slight hyperbole the Guardian called the Goyt Valley in the gorge the last inaccessible place in England. That is until December 1999 when the Millennium Walkway was opened. It clings to the side of the gorge giving great views.


Millennium Walkway or Torrs Path. The retaining wall above was built in 1860's and there still isn't a stone out of place.


This is the only surviving mill in the valley called the Torr Vale Mill. It started in 1790's and closed in the 1980's. My viewpoint is from a demolished mill called Rock Mill.


Union Road Bridge. Until this was built everything for New Mills had to come down the steep side of the valley and up the other side, or make a long journey round. It took the death of  a man to galvanize action and it was completed in 1884. The steep cliffs to the left, The Torrs, are sandstone and was quarried to provide the stone for the bridge. It took only 9 months to build. I reckon even today with all the modern equipment available it would take loads longer than that.


Church Road Bridge. The lower tier was added later to strengthen it. There are several weirs in the rivers like that seen here to provide a head of water for the water wheels. The photograph was taken from the sight of another mill, Torr Mill and this was at the confluence of the Rivers Sett and Goyt.


The route leaves the valley bottom and climbs up to the town. There are still many roads and footways that are still paved with setts and cobbles. I could almost hear the sound of clogs and hooves as life went on. The trial took you round the principle civic buildings. The old police station was where the 6 folk that were arrested at the Kinder Trespass in 1932 were brought. The trespass was basically the push that was needed to access to private land and the founding of the first National Park, The Peak District. For you lawyers out there, those arrested were not charged with trespass as there is no such law, but assault of the game keepers that tried to prevent them passing on to the land at Kinder Scout.


Kinder is the highest point in Derbyshire and is seen here in the centre distance from the Spring Bank Millennium View Point.

Following the walk we went back to the Heritage Centre and had a cup of tea before heading back to the boat. We let go and headed off to Whaley Bridge. A large part of the route was again undertaken at tick over passed moored boats. When we got to the basin there were very few visitor moorings but plenty of vacant permanent moorings. We availed ourselves of these to tie up over night. We wandered into the town and had a pint in the stone flagged Shepherds Arms. Here I was able to provide the answer to a question vexing the locals when we arrived, what was the name of the sit com with Robert Lindsey in. Citizen Smith!


Whaley Bridge Basin and transhipment warehouse with an arm into it and there were rail lines on either side of the building.

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