Viewing Platform



From the viewing platform at the Daresbury Close entrance, you can see the following points of interest:

A: Cotton Wood

From Bramhall Drive a footpath makes its way through the wood down to the Dane Meadow. In spring the woodland floor is carpeted with wood anemones and wild garlic. There are numerous nesting boxes on the trees alongside the footpath put up by the cubs and scouts to encourage the birdlife in the area.

Cotton Wood shares its name with Cotton Hall, a 15th century listed building, which lies behind its northern end, and once formed part of the Cranage Hall estate.

B: M6 motorway

From here you can see the elevated section of the M6 as it crosses the Dane and its valley just north of Junction 18. It was constructed in the mid 1960’s and is one of the busiest sections of this motorway.

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C: Cranage Hall

Cranage was mentioned in the Domesday Survey but the first mention of the Hall itself is in 1622. By 1780 the Cranage Hall estate owned well over 800 acres of the surrounding countryside. The present Hall was built in 1829 replacing the 17th century building. In the early 20th century the Hall belonged to the Carver family but it was subsequently sold to the Cheshire Joint Board for the Mentally Defective in 1929. Cranage Hall Hospital opened in 1932 and occupied the site until the mid 1990s when such institutions fell out of favour. Most of the hospital buildings were demolished and were replaced by housing and the Hall itself became a hotel and conference centre.

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D: Waste Water Treatment Works

This facility was opened in September 1936 as the Sewage Disposal works. It is now owned and run by United Utilities. The pipes running across the Dane Meadow carry the waste water or sewage from Holmes Chapel to be separated and cleaned before the water is returned to the River Dane just beyond the western edge of the Meadow.

E: A50

This road crosses the Dane River near The Vicarage Hotel and the part that can be seen is climbing up the valley side. Prior to the opening of the M1 and the M6 the A50 was one of two main routes from London to the North West.

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 F: Masseys Feed Mill

The mill predates the Massey family and was part of the Cranage Hall Estate but the first record of Massey’s trading here is 1878. Although the company has undergone considerable expansion in the intervening years the Massey family is still very much involved. They buy in barley, wheat, oats and beans to turn them into specialized feeds for cows, pigs and poultry.

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G: Jodrell Bank

The Lovell Telescope is 89 metres high and can be seen from this viewing platform. It is the Cheshire Plain’s Eiffel Tower – instantly recognizable and visible for miles around! Named after Sir Bernard Lovell, the astrophysicist, who initiated its construction, it belongs to the University of Manchester. This radio telescope has been observing, or rather listening to, outer space since the 1950’s and still plays a crucial role in space research.

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H: The railway viaduct

The Holmes Chapel railway viaduct carries the railway over the Dane Valley and is a listed structure. It was a major feat of engineering completed in 1841 by G W Buck, Engineer to Manchester and Birmingham Railway Company. It is made of red brick and sandstone, is almost 600 metres long and is supported by twenty-three semi-circular arches, each of 18 metres span. It soars 32 metres above the valley and the river Dane.  It took 2 years and more than 500 labourers to construct it. The viaduct carries the busy West Coast main line.


See also History page on the website

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