Tuesday 9th April 2019 at 10.30 a.m (duration 1 hour walk and 30 mins tour museum) meeting point Hall i’th’Wood Museum, Greenway off Crompton Way, BL1 8UA – Walk: The Ashworth’s estate
Turning back up Hall i’th’Wood Lane onto Green Way; turning right we paused briefly to look at old photographs for the opening Crompton Way 1928. Turning back up Green Way, passing Pimlott Road on the right named after Mary Pimlott; she married Samuel Crompton inventor of the Spinning Mule, 1779, Samuel lived at Hall’i’th’Wood (now the museum). Turning right up The Stray; named after a “pin fold” situated here. A “pin fold” was an enclosure where lost animals would be kept; until there owner paid a fee for their return.
Above; group crossing the field, top of The Stray. The land was given to Bolton by the Ashworth Family.
Turning right on the field; there is a bridge over the railway; this pathway led from the Gatehouse at the entrance to present day Canon Slade School. Across the land towards Oaks Hall, home to Henry Ashworth.
Across the bridge towards the fence surrounding the school; bear left down the path coming out onto Oaks Lane.
Here are the Station buildings associated with The Oaks Station; 1840s – 1950s. Now residential.
Go through the gate (by your feet to the left an old marker sign indicates Lancashire Electric.)
Carefully crossing the working railway line. Follow the path upwards; turning right brings you into Great Oak Farm (now a private residence)
Returning to the path; you can follow it downward; however it can be slippery as cobbles underneath. We took a path around the field; keeping right. You come to former stones associated with Oaks Hall built 1828, remodeled 1830 by architect Richard Lane; demolished 1950s. This was the home to Henry Ashworth; it looked over his mill in the valley New Eagley Mill (demolished)
Above photo: courtesy Bolton News.
Returning, across the fields coming out on Green Way, back to the museum.
Tuesday 16th April 2019 at 10.30 a.m (duration 1 hour) meeting point Hall i’th’Wood Museum, Greenway off Crompton Way, BL1 8UA –Walk: Over to Astley Bridge
Turning right out of the museum; past the black and white bungalow; we ventured across the field. Noting the view looking back across to Hall’i’th’Wood Museum; imagining the view Samuel Crompton had here during 1700s.
Across the field towards Crompton Way. Turning right. You come across a house corner Seymour Road/Crompton Way. Once a gatehouse associated with Watermillock (now a restaurant/pub). Both buildings built 1880 by JJ Bradshaw and John Gass.
Watermilllock was built for wealthy bleachers Thomas Thwaites; his business Eden & Thwaites bleachworks was based in The Valley at Watersmeeting.
Over the years the building has had many incarnations; an old peoples home, private GP hospital, WWI convalescent home for soldiers, 1919 Manchester Diocese added a chapel and used it as a retreat, during Spanish Civil War 1936 – 1939 child refugees were housed here. It is allegedly haunted…oooooooooh!
Crossing Crompton Way; turning right down Seymour Road, right onto Dormer Street and right through the passageway at Brindley Terrace.
We came to St Paul’s Church; built 1848 by J W Whitaker housing, extended 1868 by J Medland Taylor to accommodate the nearby, growing population. It has an impressively wide interior.
Note the stunning 1906 marble reredos screen by AJ Hope (aka architects Bradshaw, Gass and Hope..a local Bolton firm still in operation)
We must compliment the friendly greeting we received at the church; who were busy with their coffee morning and a litter pick. They happily allowed us into the church for a nosey!
Above; our Guide Suzanne, recounting the story of Dr Redmayne, buried here.
Retracing our steps back onto Seymour Road; turning right onto Mallison Street we stopped to look at the 1928 factory premises of ACDO. Still a local family firm run by grandson Brandon Pilling; his grandfather Harry started the business 1919.
We then retraced our steps back to the museum.
Tuesday 23rd April 2019 at 10.30 a.m (duration 1 hour) meeting point Hall i’th’Wood Museum, Green Way off Crompton Way, BL1 8UA – Walk: Into the Valley
Taking the path left from the museum downwards.
We came to a bridge over the Eagley Brook.
Left up the cobbled road; crossing over Crompton Way; a public footpath on the left, down steps once used by mill and bleachwork operatives.
There’s lots of dressed stone and old walls; originally part of Eden and Thwaites bleachworks established 1870.
The Valley was previously the home to North Mill, Union Mills and Dart Mill.
Also Back o’th’bank Power Station 1914 – 1979 was sited here.
Turn right into the car park park at the Cotton Kier pub; a path begins up through the woods.
One of our group Alec; spent much of his youth making dens in these woods. He showed us a horse shoe embedded in a tree.
At the top of the path; turn right coming out into fields to the rear of ACDO and Seymour Road. Keeping to the right across the field; we followed a path downwards back through the woods to the connecting public footpath top of Seymour Road close to Crompton Way.
We retraced our steps to the bridge over Eagley Brook. However we took a path right by the side of the river. Which opened up to fragrant swathes of bluebells.
(Above; Alec reliving his youth playing amongst local woods and rivers)
Back up to the field in front of Hall’i’th’Wood museum/adjacent Crompton Way.
Tuesday 30th April 2019 at 10.30 a.m (duration 1 hour walk and 30 mins tour museum) meeting point Hall i’th’Wood Museum, Green Way off Crompton Way, BL1 8UA –Walk: Museum tour and Firwod Fold
Walking back up Hall I’th’Wood Lane; right down Green Way, left across Crompton Way. There is a path on the right between the Fire Station and the Health Centre. We noted this cobbled path is the continuation of Hall i’h’Wood Lane on an 1899 map. So we walked in the footsteps of Samuel Crompton.
The path brings you onto x then we turned left onto Tonge Moor Road; crossing the lights towards the Bolton Castle pub. Bolton Wanderers player; Nat lofthouse ran the pub 1960s; his nickname was “The Lion of Vienna” scoring two goals 1952 England 3 – v- Austria 2 match.
Right down Crompton Way; left onto Firwood Lane continuing down the flagged pathway coming out into picturesque Firwood Fold.
Samuel Cromptons house…currently for sale if you’re looking to purchase a slice of history.
Taking a left at the bottom of the lane into the pathway through the woods.
Above: we had Harvey the dog join our walk today.
The path to the left brings us out onto a lodge; water stored here for Hardcastle’s Bleachworks.
Retracing our steps back up Firwood Fold to the museum.
Tuesday 7th May 2019 at 10.30 a.m (duration 1 hour) meeting point Hall ‘th’Wood Museum, Green Way off Crompton Way, BL1 8UA –Walk: The Bradshaw brook
Taking the path opposite the museum, between the bungalows; passing Green Way Community Centre on our right.
Left up Green Way, right onto Tonge Head Avenue, right onto Pimlott Road, left over the bridge onto Ripley Street. Left onto Tonge Moor Road over the pedestrian crossing. Right down the steps marked as part of the Tonge Trail at Scope o’th’Lane.
The path brings you out by a bridge and weir over the Bradshaw Brook.
Over the bridge; turn left coming out onto large playing field.
Across the field is a gravel path by the large hedge; turn left and follow the gravel path. Walk up the slight incline.
Turn left just past the first football posts; taking the path left downwards.
Follow the path along the brook. Bringing you out in an open quarry area.
Here I gave the story about the Timberbottom skulls; found in the Bradshaw Brook, taken to Timberbottom Farm (demolished). Any attempt to remove the skulls resulted in poltergeist activity. They are now settled quietly at Turton Tower resting on the Bradshaw Bible.
Take the bridge; turn left follow the path bringing you back onto Bradshaw Brow; turning left and eturning back to the museum.