Why you might see a wallaby
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.