Hello again people and pooches. Joe the Cocker here after me and my human have just returned from a short local hike around the village of Moore in Cheshire. Moore is situated between Runcorn and Warrington and is currently a stand-alone village. Runcorn is expanding and it looks apparent that Moore will become engulfed in the town as Halton and Norton have. Meanwhile, it is a quiet village with a population of slightly over 800. The main road from Runcorn to Warrington used to pass through the village until it was by-passed by the A56. This ensures Moore’s sleepy village atmosphere. Moore has a current population of around 900 and a settlement has been on the site for over 850 years. Roger de Lacy owned the village originally until he passed it to his brother, Richard. Moore was the site of a ferry crossing across the River Mersey. The village has a long history of farming on the marshes and in the village itself. It used to be famous for its Cheshire Cheese production until the opening of the Bridgewater Canal which enabled the milk produced in the area to be shipped directly to Manchester.
After a ten-minute car journey, we arrived at our parking spot at the entrance to Moore Meadows on Moss Lane. The meadows are maintained to provide a relaxing natural series of open spaces for the public to enjoy. A footpath and a bridleway run through the meadows that are seeded with native wild flowers and patches of woodland. The area is popular with dog walkers but, on this day it was deserted. The nearby Nature Reserve is also a popular attraction, especially with birdwatchers. The reserve is the subject for another of our Cheshire blogs.
I was allowed to run off-lead while we were in the meadows as I had been on my best behaviour lately. I had been returning to my dad when he called me. I hadn’t been chasing squirrels and birds recently, much to the delight of my dad. I had been walking to heel when I was told to if other dogs were around on their leads. So, it was freedom for me and a relaxing atmosphere for the big feller. We walked in the sunshine through Summer Meadow and Spring Meadow before crossing Six Acre Lane. On we walked through Damp Meadow with its thousands of buttercups and wetlands. Song Thrushes were singing for us as we walked in the solitude of the grasses with Pitts Heath Wood to our right.
Eventually, we came to the culmination of the footpath where we turned left onto the pavement alongside Runcorn Road. We stopped briefly to admire Manor Farm House, which was constructed in 1660. Another building further along the road also attracted my dad’s attention. Village Farm House, built in the late 17th century stands opposite the Red Lion pub, also built around the same time. Next door to the farm is the Grade II listed Old Farm Cottages dating from 1758. Opposite again is the old post office building. There are several other Listed buildings in this village but, my dad said that we should move on.
The Milner Institute was on our left as we walked through the village. The building was given to the village by Mary Milner on 1907 as a church and a community hall. We crossed the road bridge over the railway on the notorious ‘Z’ bend which has seen many road traffic accidents. Moore Hall was hidden behind the trees and shrubs lining the side of the pavement. This three storey country house was built in the early 18th century in roughcast brick with a slate roof.
This brought us to the point where the Bridgewater Canal runs parallel to the road so, we walked along the towpath. The canal is popular at this point with residential narrowboats. We passed under Moore Bridge which spans the canal. This bridge was built in 1772 and is very narrow and steeply humped and is also a Grade II listed structure.
We continued to walk along the towpath of the canal until we reached the edge of the village where we turned back retracing our steps. We turned right, immediately after the bridge over the railway, into Moss Lane. On our left was the Scout Building housed in the old schoolhouse. There is access to the Meadows here before we passed cottages on our right. Tucked down the side of the cottages we came across the rugby ground which is the home of The Gentlemen of Moore Rugby Club. My dad thought that it was a grand name for a rugby team formed in 1968. He expected it to have been originated in Victorian times.
A few hundred yards further down the lane we came to the place that we had parked the car. The weather was starting to change, as the blue sky with the odd wispy cloud had now become replaced by a carpet of altocumulus clouds. It was a spectacular sight as the air cooled slightly due to the cloud cover. It had been a short walk of four miles for us but, we are still not driving too far while the Coronavirus restrictions have only been slightly lifted. Till next time!