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.

Packhorse bridge photos

Packhorse bridge photos

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.

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The Hollows update

The Hollows update

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.

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Tracing ‘The Hollows’

Tracing ‘The Hollows’

One of the collection of 1930s photos of the valley had even Bill Brocklehurst stumped. And he’s lived and farmed in the valley virtually all his life. But I think we’re getting closer to identifying it.

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Goyt’s Bridge 1967

Goyt’s Bridge 1967

A rare photo of Goyt’s Bridge in 1967, just a few months before this upper part of the valley was flooded. And some views of the same area during the most recent severe drought, in the early 1990s.

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The arch mystery

The arch mystery

Gary’s photos of Errwood Bridge emerging during the 1984 drought show it had two arches. But all the pre-flood photos I’ve seen only seem to show the one. Bill Brocklehurst solves the mystery.

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Locating the bridge

Locating the bridge

Gary’s photos of Errwood Bridge emerging from the waters of Errwood Reservoir during the drought of 1984 sparked a lot of interest. I’ve included some maps, and a ‘then & now’ fade, to show its position.

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Goyt’s Bridge emerges

Goyt’s Bridge emerges

A unique collection of photos show Errwood Bridge emerging from beneath the water during a long dry spell in the autumn of 1984. It was one of two bridges in Goyt’s Bridge. But this wasn’t saved.

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Mystery building

Mystery building

A mystery building alongside The Valentine has even Bill Brocklehurst stumped. And he’s lived and farmed in the Goyt Valley for most of his life. Perhaps it was Mrs Pickup’s shop…

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The valley in 1930

The valley in 1930

A collection of grainy photos shows the Goyt Valley just before construction work started on Fernilee Reservoir. Help identifying some of the more obscure images would be appreciated!

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Buxton’s railways

Buxton’s railways

The arrival of the railways to Buxton in 1863 meant that increasing numbers of visitors could enjoy the tranquil beauty of the Goyt Valley. But it was a story of mixed fortunes for Paxton’s twin stations.

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Fernilee Toll House

Fernilee Toll House

Fernilee Toll House once stood beside the Long Hill Road between Buxton and Whaley Bridge. Today, there’s very little sign this attractive building ever existed. Which is a great shame.

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The packhorse bridge

The packhorse bridge

A wonderful painting of the packhorse bridge captures the picturesque beauty of the Goyt Valley. It now spans the Goyt about a mile upstream, where it was moved in 1965.

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Taxal Bridge

Taxal Bridge

A photo captioned ‘View of footbridge over stream (possibly Goyt Valley) c.1854’ was a fascinating find. But identifying where it once stood wasn’t so easy. Could it have been the one over the Goyt at Taxal?

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Cheshire tithe maps

Cheshire tithe maps

Alec has discovered a wonderful website that reveals a lot about the history of the Cheshire side of the Goyt Valley. Including the position of the second Stonyway Toll House.

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Goyt’s Moss Farmhouse

Goyt’s Moss Farmhouse

Another photo from the 1960s album shows Goyt’s Moss Farm in ruins. Which is odd as that this would mean it had been derelict for some 30 years. Perhaps the photo is earlier than I thought.

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Milestones update

Milestones update

I don’t know whether it’s my failing eyesight, but I didn’t notice inscriptions on both the milestones on the Old Macclesfield Turnpike. But they were well-hidden.

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Stonyway toll gate

Stonyway toll gate

This toll booth was one of five on the first Buxton to Macclesfield turnpike, forcing poorly-paid locals to pay a small tax for passing through the gates. Unsurprisingly, they were highly unpopular.

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Withinleach Farm

Withinleach Farm

A writer in 1810 describes an ancient settlement close to Withinleach Farm. Today the farm is just a pile of stones beside the path to St. Joseph’s Shrine. It’s yet another Goyt Valley mystery.

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Goytsclough postcard #2

Goytsclough postcard #2

An even older photo of Goytsclough shows the paint mill ruins in greater detail. It hopefully brings me one step closer to discovering where the giant waterwheel once stood.

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Goytsclough postcard #1

Goytsclough postcard #1

An old postcard of Goytsclough provides another small but tantalising clue in the puzzle over the giant waterwheel that once powered both the stone quarry and the later paint mill.

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