Patton’s Peover link
To Lower Peover this month, for a walk which reeks of history Cheshire Life: January 2019 Cheshire Life: January 2019
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.
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,