Brabyns Park, Cheshire Days Out

by Veronica

Did the most famous detective novelist in the world walk the paths I trod recently when we went to Marple in Cheshire? Maybe the name gives you a clue.

It is popularly believed that when the most famous detective fiction novelist in the visited her sister in Cheadle ,Cheshire that the novelist was wondering what to call her new detective. One day, her sister took her to Marple and so Miss Marple was named by Agatha Christie.

Yesterday, we went to Marple ( of Miss Marple fame ) and did a two hour walk around Brabyns Park and the High Peak canal. We haven't been there before in 41 years of living here. But it was well worth a visit. We asked ourselves why we have never visited here, so close to home, before.


There are several walks centred around beautiful Marple in Cheshire. One is called Roman lakes although the lakes are neither Roman nor Lakes, more like big ponds. 

We did the Discovery trail. If you are looking at wellbeing and mental health then a walk in the countryside is the best thing. 

Brabyns Park and HIgh Peak canal
Brabyns Park and HIgh Peak canal

The Walk round Brabyns and High Peak canal

Starting at the carpark, we walked towards the trail and saw hundreds of water lillies on this pond. I have never seen so many together. 

The canal ultimately leads up to Portland Basin ( see side panel ) Ashton under Lyne.

lily pad pool
lily pad pool

Moving along the route we walked up a slight incline and towards the old railway bridge. It was as you see, a particularly good day for walking in North West England. 

Near the old train station bridge
Near the old train station bridge

Gatekeeper's house.

The Brabins family and later the Hudson family owned the park and now demolished mansion. This was the "lowly" gatekeeper's house. Many poor at the time would have been thankful for such a finehouse. 

gate keeper's house
gate keeper's house

The Pound

Yes it looks like a pond but in NW England, these large  ponds/ pounds were turning points or moving points for barges along the canal.  The ponds were called Pounds and were often by canal locks.

The Pound ( pond)
The Pound ( pond)

A Lock

This is a fine example of a canal Lock.

Lock gate on the canal
Lock gate on the canal

Stone found in river

Further along the walk, we saw this foundation stone which was found in the local river decades after the stone itself was laid. And it was laid over 10 miles away. It is an unsolved mystery how the foundation stone came to be resting in the bottom of a river. 

This stone was laid on July 22nd 1896 by the RT Hon James Moorhouse, Bishop of Manchester. The stone was for a now demolished school in North Manchester. A mystery. 

the foundation stone mystery
the foundation stone mystery

Way marker

Mile stones
Mile stones

This is a fine example of DORA .... Dora? yes, the Defence of the Realm Act. During war times way markers and direction signs are all erased so an invading army does not have clues as to directions. 

To conclude

Keep yourself  safe and keep positive during these uncertain times. Walking is an excellent way to do this. 

Updated: 08/06/2020, Veronica
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Veronica on 07/17/2021

Yes indeed. TY .
I have lived in Cheadle Hulme for 42 years and never knew about Brabyns being so close. We are regular visitors now, having found it, we revisit.

WriterArtist on 07/17/2021

The Brabyns park looks beautiful from the pictures you have posted. Looks like it is surrounded by an aura of mystery and stories of past. The passage of time has not clearly erased all the memories. Walking down the time lane, it is good to refresh some such memories. Moreover, it is beautiful and taking a stroll in the calm green surroundings always does good to the body.

Veronica on 10/07/2020


frankbeswick on 10/02/2020

Some gatekeeper's houses have been sold off as estates needed injections of cash.

Veronica on 10/02/2020

Thanks for the comment.

The way markers were generally left blank and new markers were put in place.
Gate keepers houses were usually a status symbol for the house owner so guests would see a smart gate house before going up to the house. I don't know if any are rented out.

DerdriuMarriner on 09/28/2020

Veronica, Thank you for the illustrations, information and products.
Do all gatekeeper's dwellings look as fine? Has it ever been a trend on your side of the pond to buy or rent such dwellings? (There was a 20th-century fad here for living in garages with accommodations upstairs when large properties were sold off.)
What happens to the direction signs and way markers once war is over? Is it re-chiseling, re-engraving or total replacement?

frankbeswick on 08/13/2020

They will be taken to various sites, including the Wall,but also York, with its museums.

Veronica on 08/13/2020

Your grandchildren will love Hadrian s Wall when they are a bit older .

frankbeswick on 08/12/2020

Hadrian's Wall was manned by garrisons who were settled there. When the Romans left these garrisons remained, for the wall was their home. There is evidence of their continuing to maintain the forts long after Rome left. These garrisons may have formed the basis of border clans.

Veronica on 08/11/2020

FRANK .... TY .....
Hadrian's Wall, especially Vindolanda Fort , has artefacts which show occupation by families and children from the Roman occupation. These are on display in the exhibit. Even little children's shoes are on display. Elsewhere, Manchester Roman fort especially, occupation seems to be purely military.

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