Offline interests!  




Regular minor updates, last updated on
10 February, 2015
Corrections invited

Much of this information is available in printed form in the 
Society's leaflet




(James Brindley)




Scholar Green

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Offline interests

The Macclesfield Canal offers a variety of things to see away from the canal. This list notes the key items, most within easy walking distance. There are also many often beautiful and always interesting walks from the canal. These are being documented in the walks pages.

Use the links below for greater detail:

  • Lyme Park NT Disley (01663-766492); at least a 3 mile round trip walk from br.11 via the driveway, but a shorter walk from br.15 or 16 along the public footpath, or Redacre Aqueduct (near br.17) via the road and West Parkgate (about 3 miles the round trip). The latter route is particularly beautiful during the rhododendron season, May, June. The Elizabethan house is grand and surrounded by gardens and park land which were used as the set for the BBC's Pride and Prejudice.
  • Higher Poynton on either side of the canal between bridges 13 and 18 there is extensive evidence and remains of the once thriving Poynton coal mining industry. The short arm where Braidbar Boats are sited at br.15, together with the wooded pit dump and the modern car park behind are all that remain of the Nelson Pit. Other reminders abound, particularly the many straight roads and tracks that used to be plateways or tramways from the pits to the canal and, later, the railway. Have a look at the visitor exhibition centre located near the entrance to the Nelson car park, opposite the Boar's Head. Much more information on this interesting area can be found in Dave Kitching's pages.
  • Anson Engine Museum Higher Poynton; ½ mile west from br.15 (across the cross-road at the Boar's Head pub and along Anson Road). This fascinating prize winning museum recalls the Anson Pit (coal mine) which was one of many in the Poynton district but now all gone. The museum has a superb (internationally important) collection of vintage oil and gas engines, a Stott steam mill engine (check for steam days) and a local history display including many of the local coal mines. They have also built a brilliant scale model of the Poynton area as it was in the coal mining days complete with buildings, railways and pit heads.
  • Adlington Hall Adlington (01625-829206); 1½ miles west from br.21. This beautiful manor house, with many interesting architectural aspects from different ages from Elizabethan times, has been home to the Legh family since 1315. Uniquely, part of the building is supported by two great oak trees standing complete with their roots where they grew. Handel once stayed and is thought to have played the fine organ. The grounds, modelled after Capability Brown, include a restored rose garden and an excellent maze. Open Wednesdays 2-5pm from June to September (check before making a journey). Other times by prior arrangement.
  • Discovery Centre Bollington; on the canal side at Clarence Mill. Remarkable collection of historic pictures for viewing on PCs. Br.26A 100m. Open Wednesday 1.30-4, Saturday and Sunday 11-4.
  • The Creative Spaces Studio; on the canal side at Clarence Mill, same entrance as Café Waterside. Great place for art and objet d'art. Open most business hours.
  • 'White Nancy' Bollington; ¾ mile uphill from br.27 (take footpath on left opposite Poplar Drive, right through Gleave Avenue, down footpath, left at road, keep right, footpath into field at start of Cow Lane), this stone obelisk a'top Kerridge Hill is thought to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo and dates from 1817. There are many stories about the origin of the name but not a shred of evidence for any of them!
  • Paradise Mill Park Lane, Macclesfield (01625-618228); ½ mile downhill from br.37, look for tourist signs, this is the last example of a working Macclesfield silk mill, open most days.
  • Heritage Centre Sunday School, Roe Street, Macclesfield (01625-613210); ½ mile downhill from br.37, open most days.
  • Gawsworth village; 2 miles west of Oakgrove br.49. Unspoilt village with Gawsworth Hall, manor house, 13th century church and rectory.
  • The Cloud NT; Hill visible from the canal between Bosley and Congleton, this 343m hill is accessible from many points. Recommended places for easiest access from the canal are bridges 57, 61, 68, 71 and 72. The easiest route, but not the shortest, is from br.71 and across the fields. This takes you up the gentle slope of the hill from the Timbersbrook end. The shortest route is from br.57, east across the field (in the 'wrong' direction), up the road and straight up the hill at the steepest point!
  • Congleton Museum (01260-276360); Market Square, Congleton, open Tuesday to Sunday (enquire about bank holiday opening).
  • Glebe Farm, Astbury (adjacent to church) (01260-273916); farm shop with all daily needs, butcher's, good coffee shop, animals for children to see and a variety of craft outlets. Access from br.79 and 80, west c.¾ mile.
  • Little Moreton Hall NT (01260-272018); ¾ mile west of br.86. Probably the finest example of an Elizabethan moated manor house. Heavily carved, with almost nothing added or changed since 1600.
  • Great Moreton Hall; west of br.85. An interesting house but it is not open to the public.
  • Ramsdell Hall; beside the canal near br.86. This lovely Georgian country house is not open to the public. See it best from the canal or walk by on the towing path. The house was once owned by the Lowndes family, after whom several canal bridges hereabouts are named.
  • Mow Cop NT; 1½ miles east of br.87, this folly castle ruin built in 1750 stands atop the hill providing, on a clear day, stunning views across the Cheshire Plain and, in the other direction, across the Staffordshire moorlands. It can be seen from many points on several canals including from Hurlestone top lock. Site of the first Methodist meeting in the 1850's. Pronounce Mow as in cow. Also see the Old Man of Mow while you are up here - see next.
  • Old Man of Mow NT; 1½ miles east of br.87 at Mow Cop village, This curious rock standing in an old quarry looks like a giant old man! Just a couple of hundred yards north of the folly (see item above) - follow the signs.
  • Biddulph Grange garden NT check opening times (01782-517999); c.4 miles from both Congleton and br.87. An exciting and rare survival of a high-Victorian garden, it has undergone extensive restoration in the past four decades. This large garden is divided into small gardens hidden from each other and each representing distinct settings - an Egyptian Court, Chinese Pagoda, Joss House, Bridge and Pinetum. For those with a love of gardens this masterpiece is well worth calling a taxi for. I suggest you travel from Kidsgrove or Congleton.
  • James Brindley's grave; This is located at Newchapel, about 2½ miles east of the canal at Kidsgrove. If you walk, most of the route is through enormous housing estates so there is little of the country to be seen. But the church stands on top of the hill offering excellent views of the district.

NT - National Trust property.

Additional information about the area, including extensive tourist information, can be found in the Macclesfield Borough Council and Congleton Borough Council pages.