Turn Right At Liverpool And Keep Walking- Day 91 – Hazel Grove To East Didsbury – 30 April 2019

No time for a long walk this week, and being rained off last week I thought I would stay local .

I had two ambitions from this walk, there is a path along the new Manchester Airport Relief Road, this has been in the course of construction for years, and was only opened six months ago. We drive along it often, so I thought I would see what it is like as a pathway. I also wanted to see Abney Hall in Cheadle, my big houses blog has led me there, and serendipitiously we passed it on Sunday. Finally it gives me a chance to start an alternate walk into the centre of Manchester via Didsbury and Ladybarn.

Starting at Hazel Grove Park and Ride I walked back towards Fiveways (good news for fans of Fat Elvis / Robin’s Nest Restaurants) there seems to be activity inside, perhaps a reopening. For the uninitiated Fat Elvis was an American Themed diner, which served far too much food, and ran tribute nights. They morphed into Robin’s Nest to grab the Richard O’Sullivan fans, but seemingly unsuccessfully.

The first interesting point was just at the junction to the relief road I really must look at what this house is, neither my OS map nor google offer any clues:


It was a pleasant easy walk along the path, and the road is not busy so you are not overwhelmed by traffic.


Looking back Lyme Cage was just visible in the haze, I even got my first proper glimpse of the oil terminal. There were lots of cyclists and even a few walkers and runners using the path..

Whilst it follows the road, it does veer off from time and you get a suburban rural effect.


The road just buzzes past on your left. It was built to allow traffic from Buxton and the peak to reach the airport more easily, and does its job well.


More runis, in the seven years I have lived round here, this house has deteriorated visibly, it was once whole.


Even a tree house, which I have seen several times but now got a chance to see up close. Would not fancy using it though, looks precarious.


The route then took me up skirting Cheadle Hulme, along Hulme Hall lane. I have never been along this road before, and it is full of some fine properties.


Including Hulme Hall itself, which dates back to 1419, and was the home of the Vernon Family.


The suburban houses were not without interest, I spotted this little statuette above someones garage.


It was a short walk, and soon I was in Cheadle. On Sunday we had lunch at a Lebanese restaurant, but there was a Lebanese cafe next door, and it looked too tempting to pass by, I highly recommend Jas Jas Jas, I had a Schwarma wrap. It is clearly popular as it had a steady stream of office workers buying carryouts as I ate my lunch. The two main landmarks in Cheadle are the White Hart and St Mary’s.

St Mary’s is Grade 1 listed, The building dates from the early 1500s but there has a church here since 1200. The chancel was built for Katheryn Bulkley between 1556 and 1558. Now that also ties into my Abney Hall blog, and even to Saddleworth (where I lived for a quarter of a century), as the Bulkleys / Buckleys were a powerful Cheshire family who moved to Saddleworth, being wealthy millowners. Sir James Watts of Abney Hall had his daughter Sarah Buckley Watts marry Nathaniel Buckley and they lived at Carr House in Saddleworth, and West Bank in Heaton Mersey. More about them soon in a future blog.

Oh yes, she did become Sarah Buckley Buckley as a result of her marriage.

I wandered down the high street, past the Literary Institution, built 1852.


Then onwards to Abney Hall, once the home of Sir James Watts, and where Prince Albert stayed during the Great Art Treasures Exhibition of Manchester in 1857. This remains the largest Art exhibition ever held anywhere in the world.

Abney Hall was once considered the equal of Windsor (granted that was the Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertister blowing it’s own trumpet during Albert’s visit) but now alongside everything Stockport Council seems to touch it is being converted to offices.


Still it is an impressive building. Cheadle Station however did not last, it lasted 98 years from 1866 to 1964. Another Beeching Victim.


My walks would never be complete if I didn’t cross a river, so here is the Mersey, looking peaceful.


Arriving at Kingsway, these flats have always interested me. When we used to go to my Grandparents in Irlams O’Th’ Height we always caught the number 50 bus from here (it still terminates here) and I was told my uncle Frank lived here. I never knew him, but always think of him when I pass. They were built in 1939.


Finally the sad remnant of Parrs Wood Bus Depot, now a Tesco.


Quite a resepectable 10 miles today. I would have done further, but I want a moochy walk around the Heatons next.


Copyright 2019 Allan Russell.

Author: allanprussell

Big houses in the Heatons and others that take my interest.

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