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Marple - Mellor Church - Brookbottom - Marple Walk

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This walk takes in a wide variety of scenery from the canals around Marple and the Roman Lakes, climbing up to St Thomas' Church, part of which dates back to the 13th Century. The small hamlets of Moorend and Brookbottom are passed en route, with the opportunity of a drink at the Fox Inn in Brookbottom. There are fine views from the higher points over towards Stockport and Manchester. Also, more northerly over Hyde and further east, Kinder Scout stands proud. The southern end of Kinder Scout is the start of the Pennine Way. There are lots of interesting points to investigate on this walk, including the now disused arm of the Peak Forest Canal that leads to the local limekilns; the flight of twenty locks that raise the Peak Forest Canal the 214 feet from Marple Aqueduct to its junction with the Macclesfield Canal at Toplock; the aqueduct itself, a fine feat of Victorian engineering that carries the canal high over the River Goyt, is well worth a detour if you have an extra hour, but be warned, it is uphill back to Toplock; and Mellor Church and churchyard deserves some time to explore, as do the nearby Roman excavations.
 	
<b>Posset Bridge:</b> take time to explore the area around Posset Bridge, including the tunnel for the horses and the now defunct arm of the canal that used to go to the nearby limekilns formerly situated at the end of Limekiln Lane.
 
<b>Toplock Bridge:</b> Toplock Bridge is the junction of the Peak Forest and Macclesfield Canals. The bridge is designated number one on the Macclesfield Canal. At Toplock Bridge, you are at the summit of a flight of sixteen locks that has climbed 214 feet (67 metres) from Marple Aqueduct. This is spectacular, taking the canal high over the River Etherow. When the Peak Forest Canal was originally constructed, they could not afford to build the set of locks that you see now. For the first six years, they used an inclined plane worked by horses and wagons to connect the higher and lower levels. The flight of locks was 200 years old on 3rd July 2004, having been officially opened in 1804. The Peak Forest Canal runs from Whaley Bridge to Portland Street Basin in Hyde. From Hyde, boats can travel east along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal or west on the Ashton Canal for the Cheshire Ring, going through Manchester to Castlefields. From there, they can travel along the Trent and Mersey Canal to join the Macclesfield Canal at Kidsgrove and after that, back to Marple.
  
<b>Brickbridge:</b> the house at Brickbridge is known locally as Rose Lea House. Through the gateway and stile opposite, there is the concrete capping on an abandoned mineshaft. There used to be some small-scale coalmining around the Marple area.
  
<b>Mellor Church:</b> St Thomas's Church, Mellor dates from the 12th Century; the pulpit was carved in 1320 from a single block of oak. The view from here from left to right (east to west) takes in Kinder Scout, Cobden Edge, Lyme Cage and Park Moor in the distance; then closer, Marple Ridge, Goyt Mill and Stockport.
  
<b>Brookbottom:</b> this village has the reputation of being Derbyshire's smallest, having nine houses, a chapel, inn, postbox and telephone box.
 
<b>Strines Print Works:</b> at Strines you pass the site of the now closed Strines Print Works, a textile printing works where much of the developments in modern textile printing and dyeing were perfected in the last century. Don't be put off by the mention of the works; it is very much in the countryside.
 
<b>Bridge No 2, Macclesfield Canal:</b> on the far side of the canal is a maintenance yard with a pumping-out facility for the boats. Where the canal narrows there used to be a stop lock; the water in the Macclesfield Canal used to be fifteen centimetres higher than the Peak Forest Canal and it is rumoured that they said they weren't going to let their precious water be wasted on the Peak Forest Canal. Or was it that the Macclesfield Canal was designed to be higher? There are also the remains of a cantilevered roof covering the wharf.

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