Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Friday, 2 May 2008

Thursday 1 May 2008 - Tegg's Nose

This evening, after a quick beer in the Leather's Smithy, Sue, Andrew and I headed down to Bottoms reservoir, built in 1850 to 'water' the people of Macclesfield, with a maximum depth of 32 feet and a capacity of 34 million gallons. It was a lovely clear sunlit scene.

Ahead of us Tegg's Nose loomed large. A number of cyclists were enjoying the fine bright evening. Our route took us along the Gritstone Trail into Tegg's Nose Country Park.

As we ascended the views opened out - across the Cheshire plain, past Jodrell Bank, to the mountains of North Wales; the Shropshire hills stood out to the south; the Cat and Fiddle Inn, on the Macclesfield to Buxton road, looked very close, and the frequently visited summit of Shutlingsloe was illuminated by the evening sun above the trees of Macclesfield Forest.

A lot of work seems to have been put into the Tegg's Nose experience, not least a series of attractive signs and information boards. Not a mark of graffiti in sight. Some walk commentaries are here.

The image below depicts the following:
"The story starts in a warm, tropical sea 350 million years ago when Britain formed part of a landmass on the equator. This time was called the Carboniferous Period.
Life was plentiful in the clear, warm water. Corals and shelled animals lived and died, their remains forming the limestone of the central Peak District.
These idyllic tropical conditions did not last forever."

Duly humbled, we continued on past more recent relics from Tegg's Nose's days as a quarry.
It has been a quarry for some time, perhaps as far back as the fifteenth century.

There is some display machinery that used to work in the quarry. A small stone crusher (pictured), a crane and a big square thing that’s actually an old stone saw that used to be run by a steam engine.

The quarry supplied stone for stone kerbs, flagstones and stone cobbles. Some of the time it was quite small scale. Other times, teams of men worked the quarry extensively. There’s evidence of a railway track around the quarry. The rubble was dropped over the end of the nose below what is now a viewpoint.
Between 1928 and 1934, Tegg’s Nose stone was used to widen the promenade at Douglas on the Isle of Man. (Just thought I'd share that fascinating snippet with you!)
During the last war, the Americans came with big lorries and pneumatic drills and quarried for aggregates to make runways. The pneumatic drills were popular with the locals as they gave them a break from blasting, which had a nasty habit of throwing stone into the surrounding valleys...

The sun set as we strolled past the Visitor Centre along the ridge that used to lead to the Setter Dog pub where the quarrymen used to celebrate their continuing good health after visits from the doctor. Most of them were dead from silicosis by the age of 50. Sadly, with the quarrymen long gone, the pub has recently demised and is now 'Peak cyclesport', which may be an excellent cycle shop.

Our route now headed across fields to Warrilowhead Farm, situated in an imposing position on the side of a hill, then over slightly marshy ground to Ashtreetop.
Darkness was gaining on us as we stumbled over some final stiles, across a tarmac road and into the depths of Macclesfield Forest. Luckily, bearing left at a wider track, we soon reached an old barn known as Dimples, from where the brightly chipped main route through the forest led us gently down to the metalled road that links Forest Chapel with Langley. This used to be part of a Royal hunting forest and subject to very strict laws, but is now under Water Board ownership, and a valued public amenity.

Before long we were enjoying more beer in the Leather's Smithy, with the landlady (unusually, and strangely) being jealous of our outing on this wonderfully fine and clear evening.

The 7 km route, with 300 metres of ascent and taking about two hours, is shown below.

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