Hello again people and pooches. Joe the Cocker here. November 2020 and the humans are in Lockdown again. My human is waiting for the result of his MRI scan on his knee. Now he is saying no hills, no long walks and no travelling. I’m going to have to start taking myself for a walk if things don’t pick up. So, we are limited to short flat local walks for now. If I were you, I would stop reading right now and see what is on the TV. But, if you are still reading, I will tell you about our latest walk.
My human said that we should drive the short distance to one of the villages within the boundaries of our town. We have walked around Daresbury many times and even wrote a blog about the Lewis Carroll Walk. The famous children’s author was born in the village and is celebrated with a visitor centre and various other items throughout the village, such as weathervanes and paintings. On this occasion we would be walking around the area and visiting the Listed buildings and structures.
We parked in the Church of All Saints car park, while we visited the church. The building is a Grade II* Listed building and stands proudly on the edge of the village. The gothic revivalist church was built in 1872 from local red sandstone with a slate roof. The original chapel on the site dates back to the 12th century. The tower also originates from this time, with the rest of the church being rebuilt in the 1870’s. The interior of the building, where pooches aren’t allowed, contains the Lewis Carroll Centre. A number of stained-glass windows allow light to flood into the building. Especially popular is the Alice in Wonderland window depicting characters from the book and Lewis Carroll himself. We walked around the graveyard with its many old graves including two World War I headstones. The font that Lewis Carroll was baptised in also stands in the churchyard.
A second Listed structure is housed in the graveyard, the Daresbury War Memorial. The stone memorial was unveiled in 1920 and has inscriptions of the names of local people killed in the two World Wars. Sixteen local men lost their lives in the First World War and four in the Second, which was a massive blow to the 200 or so residents at the time.
From the church we walked along Daresbury Lane, on the pavement, to our next destination. Sadly, the building is fenced off due to considerable damage during a fire in 2016. It is designated a Grade II* Georgian building but, to restore it to its former glory would cost millions of pounds. The large house was built in 1759 for George Heron and passed to Samuel Chadwick in 1850. In 1892 it was bought by Sir Gilbert Greenall, the Warrington brewery and distillery owner. It was used as a military hospital during the Second World War and later as a residential home for disabled people. It was abandoned and became derelict and later bought for restoration. Unfortunately, the fire put a stop to the plans to restore the hall. We would have loved to have investigated the grounds but, the area is no longer accessible. The future of the building is unknown at present but, it would be a shame for it to not be rebuilt.
We walked back along the road to the village to visit the next two structures. My human pointed out the first of the two ‘buildings’ to me. I was just about to pee on it when my dad dragged me away. It is a big red Telephone Box opposite the Ring O’ Bells pub. It is a traditional cast iron, red painted and glazed 1935 phone box. It is actually still a working phone box. My dad told me that it is a K6 phone box. I said that this K9 was not impressed as I needed a pee, and I was pulled away from it!
Across the road from the phone box was the next of our day’s targets. The Sessions House is another Grade II Listed building. It was built as a courthouse in 1841 but, nowadays, it is part of the adjacent pub. It is a red brick building with a slate roof. A plaque on the front of the building is inscribed with the buidings use and date of construction, in Latin. My dad told me that he had studied Latin in school in the olden days but, he couldn’t translate it. I don’t think that he paid attention in class! Naughty daddy!
Due to the big fellers knee injury, he decided to jump into the car and to drive to our next destination. Black Jane Farm House is around 1.5 miles from the Sessions House, along country lanes, in Lower Whitley. We could have followed the footpaths across the fields but, he was worried about jarring his knee. He is becoming a liability and spoiling my fun. I could have been up to my belly in mud but, instead I had to be driven. So, off we went along the narrow lanes. The farm was built in brown brick with a slate roof in 1729. It is currently a private residence with well maintained grounds.
From this spot we drove to our final destination at the bottom of Delph Lane in Keckwick. The structure was a bridge that spanned the Bridgewater Canal, a short walk along the towpath from our parking spot. I had a good run and a splash through the muddy puddles as we walked. My human just ‘tutted’ at me. He is a misery at times. George Gleave’s bridge is a single span red brick bridge, built in 1772 by James Brindley, for the Duke of Bridgewater. The bridge is named after a man that lived in Crow’s Nest Farm with his family for many years. His descendant, also George, was a surgeon in Warrington, years later.
So, after a short walk in around the Daresbury area, we were back at the car. I jumped onto my bed on the back seat after a quick wipe down and had a short snooze as my chauffeur delivered me back home. Till next time!