Canal plea­sures

Lancashire Life - - Society - WORDS AND PHO­TOGRAPHS: John Lene­han

This scenic walk by the water at Brether­ton passes some im­por­tant his­toric sites

Hav­ing pre­vi­ously de­scribed a walk from nearby Tar­leton and fol­lowed the Leeds-liver­pool Canal (Ruf­ford Branch) to its sea lock on the River Dou­glas, and then the Dou­glas to the River Rib­ble and the sea, I thought it would be in­ter­est­ing to ex­plore the canal and Dou­glas in the op­po­site di­rec­tion from Tar­leton to­wards Sol­lom. I wanted a cir­cu­lar walk as usual, so plot­ted a route from Brether­ton. It proved to be scenic and very his­tor­i­cally in­ter­est­ing.

1Leave the Blue An­chor car park and turn left and fol­low South Road un­til it reaches the war me­mo­rial then turn left down Eyes Lane and fol­low this as it turns right at its junc­tion with Back Lane. Keep on Eyes Lane un­til it turns sharp left and at this point leave Eyes Lane and keep straight on, fol­low­ing a track to a T-junc­tion close to the im­pres­sive Bank Hall that is be­ing re­fur­bished. Turn right and fol­low the track to where it joins the A59 then turn left and fol­low the A59.

Note: Bank Hall is a Ja­cobean man­sion and is truly im­pres­sive even while it was be­ing re­fur­bished.

It was built in 1608 with fur­ther ex­ten­sions added later. It was va­cated in 1972 and al­lowed to de­te­ri­o­rate and even­tu­ally was van­dalised.

This could have even­tu­ally led to com­plete col­lapse or de­mo­li­tion but The Friends of Bank Hall and Her­itage Trust for North West and Lot­tery Fund­ing have raised enough money for a com­plete restoratio­n.

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