Itchy feet on a sunny afternoon drew me to explore a few red dots on Explorer Map number 276.
It’s a short drive from Timperley to the village of Glazebury, where the Raven Inn’s car park has plenty of space for customers.
From the Raven Inn, I headed down Heyshoot Lane and after a few metres turned left along Moss Lane. A path to the left after 300m took me over a stile and into a slightly wet field, leading to Light Oaks.
Beyond the farm, a left turn leads past the lovely old building that is Light Oaks Hall, whose history apparently dates back at least as far as the 14th century, though the current building dates back only to early C17.
Crossing the bridge over Glaze Brook, I re-entered Cheshire, after having paid brief visits to both Greater Manchester (Salford) and Lancashire (Wigan).
A right turn at the main road took me past the Chat Moss Hotel. The hotel is adjacent to the world’s first timetabled inter-city passenger railway. The Liverpool and Manchester railway was opened in 1830 by the Duke of Wellington, and one of the world’s first railway booking offices was on the premises of the hotel that formed part of what used to be Bury Lane Station.
Continuing under the railway bridge I arrived at the C of E parish church - All Saints, Glazebury.
A left turn down Hurst Lane leads to a health conscious farm where visitors have to dunk themselves in chemicals before entering.
Amongst the farm buildings stands Hurst Hall, built around 1700. It was originally the residence of the Holcroft family, a branch of the de Culcheth family, who were Protestants, and therefore Parliamentarians in the Civil War. The Holcroft family also enjoyed notoriety for a scandal involving the daughter of Lt-Col John Holcroft, an officer in Cromwell's army. His daughter, Maria, married Irishman Lieutenant Thomas Blood in 1650 in nearby Newchurch before moving back to Ireland. He was later to be promoted to the rank of Captain. Captain Blood then gained notoriety for devising a plot to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London and using them as a ransom for Charles II.
A thin path rich with either disinfectant or rainwater (it was hard to tell!) led me around the left perimeter of the farmyard, soon reaching a pedestrian crossing across the line that was used in the Rainhill trials in 1829. Stephenson’s Rocket now features in the Chat Moss pub sign, as shown above. It was easy today to dodge the Arriva trains that nowadays service the route.
Suddenly, a thunderstorm arrived to interrupt a sunny afternoon; shame I’d not got waterproofs with me!
My old Keen trail shoes had their waterproof lining tested yet again, as I took a left and immediate right after the crossing, past a lone beech tree to a path junction for a right turn through wet ground to a small footbridge, then bearing left down a flooded path after which a series of left turns brought me back to the Raven Inn, past hedgerows that were just about gaining an autumn tinge.
Here's the route - just a brief dose of fresh air spiced with disinfectant on an October afternoon - it can be easily extended (see Explorer Map 276).
There’s a short slide show (17 images) here.