Restoration work is tall order:
DAREDEVIL abseilers have begun a project to restore England’s tallest aqueduct to its former glor y.
Work has started 100ft above the ground to remove overgrown trees and vegetation which have been obscuring views of the magnificent 19th Century structure in Marple.
The project is part of a £2.3m scheme which will also include restoration work on Mellor Mill and Marple Lime Kilns.
Ruins at Mellor Mill will be excavated and opened to the public, and Marple Lime Kilns’ archaeological remains will be landscaped.
Lucy Rogers, enterprise manager with the Canal & River Trust, said: “This historic gem is hidden behind overgrown trees and bushes.
“Work has now started to remove this vegetation and reveal the historic splendour of this ancient structure.
“This is the beginning of an exciting journey to reveal these three historic sites and open them up to the public.”
Built in 1800, the huge aqueduct carries the Peak Forest Canal 100ft over the River Goyt, and once offered stunning views across the valley.
But in recent years, overgrowing trees and vegetation have obscured the views from the iconic aqueduct.
Project officer Fiona Turpin said: “Mellor Mill, Marple Aqueduct and Lime Kilns are all great historical treasures and this project aims to preserve them for future generations and raise the area’s profile as a place to visit and explore the wonderful heritage on our doorstep.”
The project has been named ‘Revealing Oldknow’s Legacy’ in honour of Samuel Oldknow, the businessman who brought prosperity to Marple and Mellor in the 18th Century by buying land and building the mills.
Money has been provided for the three Marple schemes by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Sara Hilton, from the fund, said: “Our industrial heritage is something we can all take pride in.
“It makes us who we are today.
“The Heritage Lottery Fund is delighted to support this project to bring the Goyt Valley’s industrial heritage back to life and raise awareness of Oldknow’s contribution to the Industrial Revolution.”
To see video of the abseilers in action go to our website.
Abseilers in action working to restore the Marple aqueduct