The twisting road to Pott Shrigley descends from the moors past a family-run industrial estate on the site of a former brickworks. A surprising presence in this remote countryside location is Jamie Robins’ bespoke kitchen showroom. As I discovered on talking to employee Jonathan Slater, reputation and word of mouth can be more important than a prime location in guaranteeing the success of a business.
Jonathan said: ‘Jamie established his first workshop for the manufacture of handmade furniture for kitchens, bedrooms and home offices on the site over 20 years ago. The original workshop is still here but is now supplemented by a much larger workshop and a showroom where we display our range of bespoke kitchens and furniture.’
Half a mile beyond the industrial estate, there is a secluded hollow at the intersection of three moorland roads. This is the idyllic location for the picturesque hamlet of
Pott Shrigley, where one cottage has the type of black-and-white frontage more often seen in the villages of the Cheshire Plain.
The church, which is surprisingly grand, is approached through a lych-gate whose pointed arches complement the distinctive gothic styling of the windows in several village houses.
Pott Shrigley’s school, originally founded in 1492 but extended in the 1960s when a village hall was also attached, is yet another primary school which Ofsted inspectors ranked as ‘outstanding’. The inspectors were particularly impressed that ‘teachers and other staff know pupils and their families very well and meet their welfare and learning needs in an outstanding individual way.’
Unlike the villages of Kettleshulme and Rainow, Pott Shrigley does not have a pub.
One story has it that a village inn called the Lowther Arms was closed down in the 1920s by Lady Lowther after she had detected alcohol on the breath of her groom. However, Pott Shrigley does have a splendid hotel and spa at Shrigley Hall on the edge of the village. The hall was built in 1825 for William Turner, a Blackburn mill owner, whose daughter Ellen was at the centre of a famous case of abduction. At the age of 15, she was lured away from her school in Liverpool by Edward Gibbon Wakefield, who whisked Ellen off to Gretna Green, where he married her before taking her to Calais, where she was traced and rescued by her uncle.
In 1929, Shrigley Hall was sold to the Salesians, who converted the building into a missionary college and later added a church on an adjacent plot of land. After the Salesians left in 1986, the hall and the church were converted into a hotel, which is now an independently-owned 4-star hotel and spa with 155 bedrooms, a swimming pool, gymnasium, sauna and beauty salon, with the bonus of extensive grounds which contain an 18-hole championship golf course and provide farreaching views. The most striking architectural feature of the hotel’s interior is a fabulous painted dome, which makes a double visual impression because it is reflected in a large mirror on the landing of the main staircase.
Black-and-white cottage in Pott Shrigley
Jonathan Slater in Jamie Robins’ showroom in Pott Shrigley
The painted dome of Shrigley Hall