Marple Ridge (Roman things aren’t always Roman)

With another hot day forecast on Thursday we decided to have a short walk and then leave the afternoon for Karen to continue cleaning the side of the boat and me to carry on with touching up the roof paintwork.

When we went to get water on Wednesday we ended up facing away from Marple with the side Karen is working on away from the towpath.  That meant we had to cruise down towards Bugsworth to the first winding hole we could turn in and head back.  The starboard side would then be by the towpath so Karen could get on with her washing, polishing and waxing.  Because of our backs we haven’t done it properly since we got the boat so it’s long overdue

We needed to turn around anyway as we were facing the wrong way to continue our journey to Manchester and Liverpool.  I was slightly concerned that the winding hole would be clear enough for us as I imagined that not many people use the winding holes on this part of the canal.  It is only six miles from the junction at Marple to the end at Bugsworth and, as Bugsworth is such a honeypot, most people must cruise the whole length before turning around.  As it was, we turned (winded) without too many problems and were soon moored back where we were earlier.  Oh, and the bikes were still chained together against the dry-stone wall – left there as a sort of insurance that it would put other people off mooring there 😉

We went for a walk along part of the River Goyt that we haven’t been along before; the Goyt is one of the rivers that runs through New Mills, the town with all the bridges we visited a week or so ago.  We started by walking back along the canal to Strines and then down the steep valley side to the river where we found a pack horse bridge.

Pack horse bridge

Reading up about this bridge on the local history site we found it’s called Roman bridge even though it was built around 1700.  Apparently, it used to be called Windy Bottom bridge but was renamed once the railways came thus enabling Mancunians to get out to the country for day trips.  Roman bridge was thought to be more of a romantic name to attract the trippers.

Walking across Windy Bottom bridge

We noticed horse mounts either side of the bridge, but I could find nothing about them on the web.

Horse mount on the north side of the bridge

We then passed a farm called Windy Bottom farm – they obviously didn’t feel the need to change the name for romantic purposes 😉 Next, we came to Roman Lakes, again these had been renamed, this time from Bottom’s Reservoirs.  These were formed by the millstream created to power a couple of really large mills further down the valley.  Sadly, both mills have now long gone but the lakes are now really handy for Marple locals to visit as they are only a mile’s walk from the town.  We were particularly tickled by the tea rooms as they hold tea dances there every month – such a quaint location 😊

The largest of the Roman Lakes

Most of the wildfowl were quite tame as so many visitors must feed them but, when having an ice cream, we saw a pair of tufted duck; unfortunately, they weren’t so tame and kept their distance.

We made sure we ended up in Marple, so we could check on lock 15 progress.  Things had moved on apace and the lads were saying that their bosses were thinking that they may be open for boats by midday on Friday rather than 5 o'clock.

All the lock gates were back in place and the pound below the lock was nearly clear.  There was just a small mound of rocks left, we presumed so the remaining bits of machinery in the bottom of the lock could be got back to the surface easily.

This was yesterday

The same spot two days previously 

When we got home the roof was far to hot for me to do any touch up painting.  I poured water over it every so often to cool it down until the sun wasn’t so strong.  The side wasn't in the sun so was cool enough for Karen to work on another patch. 

Waiting for the sun to lose some of its strength

We finally have rain forecast for the Peak District on Friday but, if the locks are reopened, we will head down them and make our way to Ashton-under-Lyme ready for getting to Manchester on Saturday.

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