The vanished places of the Goyt Valley
On these pages I’ll include places that were lost following the construction of the twin reservoirs of Fernilee and Errwood. Ranging from the small one-room school which once stood within the hamlet of Goyt’s Bridge, to the large gunpowder factory which now lies beneath the cold waters of Fernilee. Contributions are always very welcome, so please do get in touch.
Yet more stone features are appearing above the surface of Errwood Reservoir. The four nearest the bank could have been part of the large twin barns which stood beside the lane to Errwood Hall.
A grainy photo taken shortly before Errwood Reservoir was flooded in 1968 seems to solve the mystery of the sturdy gateposts that have recently surfaced during the drought of August 2022.
The second part of my attempts to trace features that have emerged during the recent drought; a pair of sturdy gateposts and a junction of lanes, all of which have been hidden since Errwood was flooded.
The water level in Errwood Reservoir has dropped significantly over recent weeks, revealing some interesting features from the past. Trying to identify where they once lay is a fascinating challenge.
Comparing the recently discovered 1846 plans of the valley with OS maps from the 1890s reveal some fascinating changes, but also poses the question of when Grimshaw turned to Grimshawe.
A photo of a derelict building known as Boothman’s Cottages recently came to light. There’s nothing left of it today. Was it connected to coal mining, or simply a stop-off point for weary travellers?
Two bridges – both close to Errwood Hall. One that I’d never seen before, and another which I wasn’t sure ever existed. All it needed to solve the mystery was a pair of wellington boots.
The augmented reality app which will bring the ruins of Errwood Hall to life is still at the planning stage. The first step is to identify the layout of the rooms. Any help would be much appreciated.
I’d always understood that Errwood Hall was used as a Youth Hostel for a couple of years after Mary Grimshawe’s death in 1930. But according to recently discovered YHA records, that’s not correct.
An old postcard recently appeared on ebay captioned ‘Goyt Valley’. But I really struggled to work out where it was taken. Sharper eyes than mine spotted a bridge arch hidden by trees. Mystery solved!
A recently discovered photo taken in 1988 shows a young boy peering into a hole in the centre of the Errwood Hall ruins. I wonder whether it might be the entrance to the cellars.
Three old photos recently popped up on ebay, captioned ‘Goyt Valley 1950s’. But where were they taken, and was the date correct? There’s only one man who knows the answer…
I’ve made a start at adding the final three houses to the the list of those demolished in the 1930s, following the purchase of the Errwood Estate by Stockport Corporation to build the twin reservoirs.
The felling of the fir trees above Fernilee has opened up some wonderful views across the valley. I was curious about some tracks running up from the path along the opposite side of the reservoir.
A couple of sturdy stone gateposts near the top of Old Goyt’s Lane once guarded access onto the track of the Bunsall Incline; the steep slope that today forms the main route into the valley.
Two very similar postcard views of Goyts Bridge are probably separated by only a few years, but reveal a massive change in fortunes for this wonderfully scenic spot beside the Goyt.
A 1948 article describing a walk through the Goyt Valley, from Whaley Bridge to Buxton, makes fascinating reading. It also reveals that I’d got the position of the suspension bridge completely wrong.
Continuing the hunt to trace the history of some of the stone gateposts that stand around the Goyt Valley – this time to the west of Fernilee Reservoir, on the main track and up to Intake Farm.
I’ve just come across some wonderful photos of the old packhorse bridge on Flickr. I’m not sure when they were taken – perhaps in the ’30s or ’40s. The bridge now spans the Goyt about a mile upstream.
Thanks to Bill and Chris, I’ve managed to pinpoint the house known as The Hollows which featured in the collection of photos taken in the early 1930s, before work started on Fernilee Reservoir.