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●● COUN­TRY parks and cot­ton mills on Ramblers’ route, by who led the walk.

IN­DUS­TRIAL her­itage is all around us in north west Eng­land and fre­quently en­coun­tered on East Cheshire Ramblers walks.

A re­cent ex­am­ple was a ten-mile route that started from Etherow Coun­try Park and vis­ited Broad Mills Her­itage Site, both of which are for­mer tex­tile works sites and are now coun­try parks.

Early in the 19th cen­tury, Thomas Andrew built a dye works and cal­ico print­ing busi­ness at Comp­stall. A spin­ning mill, weav­ing sheds and bleach works were added later, con­tin­u­ing in op­er­a­tion un­til the 1960s.

Mean­while, a cot­ton spin­ning mill, bleach­ing and dye works were de­vel­oped at Broad Mills which de­vel­oped un­der var­i­ous own­er­ships, in­clud­ing a car­pet fac­tory and saw mill un­til 1949, when they were de­stroyed by fire. Af­ter fol­low­ing the south shore of Etherow Lake to the weir, the 17 walk­ers con­tin­ued steadily up­hill through Ernocroft Wood un­til we reached our re­fresh­ment stop, high above Chis­worth. Look­ing north, our van­tage point re­vealed dis­tant Broad­bot­tom viaduct and the Long­den­dale Val­ley be­fore de­scend­ing to Sandy Lane and through a wood­land pretty with blue­bells and quiet lanes to Warhurst Fold.

We then crossed the River Etherow to reach Broad Mills. Fol­low­ing lunch be­side a tran­quil old mill pond, we trekked up­hill once more and past the re­mains of some old dye vats at Hodge­fold, then on to Ley­lands Farm and Botham’s Hall and through Back Wood to Ap­ple Street be­fore re­turn­ing to the start point via Mortin Clough.

For fur­ther de­tails, go to ram­blerseastcheshire. org.uk.

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