Wincle nos­tal­gia

Why you might see a wal­laby

Cheshire Life - - Inside - WORDS: Howard Brad­bury

Many a Cheshire vil­lage can boast a men­tion in the Domes­day Book, but Wincle has tan­gi­ble ev­i­dence of a his­tory stretch­ing much fur­ther back.

The Bull­stones on Brown Hill, a mile north of the vil­lage are a Bronze Age stone cir­cle and burial site, among the best-pre­served of their kind in Cheshire. The An­glo-sax­ons left an en­dur­ing mark on the area too, in the shape of the Cleu­low Cross. And, though Wincle was over­looked by the Domes­day Book, there was known to be a set­tle­ment here in the late 13th cen­tury called Wynke­hull, from Wineca’s Hill.

Wincle and neigh­bour­ing Dane­bridge were im­por­tant, as the lat­ter’s name sug­gests, as a cross­ing point of the River Dane, with a ford in the 12th cen­tury and a bridge by the 14th cen­tury.

In 1745, part of Bon­nie Prince Char­lie’s army is said to have passed through here af­ter its vain mis­sion to de­pose Ge­orge I. The story goes that Alexan­der Ma­clean, a mem­ber of the rebel prince’s army, came to The Ship Inn want­ing food. While he ate, the innkeeper seized Ma­clean’s mus­ket and held him un­til the lo­cal mag­is­trate could be called. Un­til well into the 20th cen­tury, the mus­ket was on dis­play be­hind the bar.

The Dane was a source of power for pa­per mills here in the early years of the In­dus­trial Revo­lu­tion. The silk in­dus­try of Mac­cles­field also had a hand in shap­ing Wincle, as the silk man­u­fac­tur­ing Brock­le­hurst fam­ily bought nearby Swytham­ley Hall in 1831. Sir Philip Brock­le­hurst re­built the Dane Bridge in 1869, im­prov­ing road con­di­tion in the area.

Cap­tain Court­ney Brock­le­hurst’s pri­vate zoo at Roaches Hall, be­tween Bux­ton and Leek, was closed as part of wartime reg­u­la­tions in the Se­cond World World War, and five wal­la­bies were re­leased onto the moor­land. They con­tin­ued to breed, de­spite cold win­ters, and the most re­cent sight­ing of a wal­laby was near Wincle church in Septem­ber last year. These elu­sive lo­cal res­i­dents are cel­e­brated by Wincle Beer Com­pany with a de­li­cious pale ale called Wib­bly Wal­laby.

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