Pat­ton’s Peover link

To Lower Peover this month, for a walk which reeks of his­tory Cheshire Life: Jan­uary 2019 Cheshire Life: Jan­uary 2019

Cheshire Life - - Society - Howard Brad­bury

Or­di­nar­ily, a Grade 1 listed church with 13th cen­tury ori­gins would be more than enough to ex­er­cise the mind while also ex­er­cis­ing the body on a coun­try walk. And, in­deed, St Oswald’s is a fine church, made of lo­cal sand­stone, tim­ber-framed, of quite dinky pro­por­tions and sit­ting in a quaint ham­let at the top of a cob­bled lane.

But there’s some more re­cent his­tory, as well as an­other mighty im­pres­sive build­ing, to wit­ness on this walk. That im­pres­sive build­ing is Peover Hall, grade II* listed El­iz­a­bethan manor with its grade 1-listed Carolean sta­bles.

That re­cent his­tory is Peover Hall’s wartime ser­vice as the head­quar­ters for Gen­eral Ge­orge Pat­ton of the United States 3rd Army and his staff. The hall also served a pris­oner of war camp, and did not sur­vive World War II in the con­di­tion one would hope for an English stately home, not least be­cause of a fire started by an Amer­i­can sol­dier. The hall was re­stored by the Brooks fam­ily.

At the end of this walk lies

an­other place whose his­tory is in­ex­tri­ca­bly bound with that of Peover Hall. For when Pat­ton put his head to­gether with Gen­eral Dwight D Eisen­hower, Al­lied supreme com­man­der, to plan the D-day in­va­sion of Nor­mandy and thence vic­tory in World War II, they did so in the com­fort of The Bells of Peover, just a stone’s throw from St Oswald’s. Which ex­plains why, to this day, you will see the Stars and Stripes fly­ing be­side the Union Flag out­side the pub. I’d heartily rec­om­mend you fin­ish your walk with a visit.

As for the walk, it is an easy six miles through what I would de­scribe as quin­tes­sen­tial Cheshire ter­rain: flat, lush and co­pi­ously adorned with cow pats.

12Even­tu­ally,

you will see a car­a­van park ahead, and the path will bring you to the right of it and on to the main A50 road. Turn left here, pass­ing the large Equiport eques­trian sup­plies store (this is the for­mer Drovers Arms) and con­tinue up the pave­ment on the left side of the road un­til it runs out. Cross to the right and carry on just a short dis­tance, tak­ing the right turn be­side the post­box into Long Lane. Keep to the lane, and when the tar­mac ends, con­tinue on the same track, pass­ing a sign warn­ing ‘No ve­hic­u­lar ac­cess to Peover Hall’. You pass the beau­ti­ful St An­thony’s Cot­tages and The Ken­nels, then turn left on the lane to the church, pass­ing be­side the en­trance to Peover Hall. 3Don’t

go into the court­yard ahead, but fol­low the lane round to the right and, reach­ing the grand white gates to the hall,

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