The present day town of Bollington has evolved over the centuries firstly
from a number of scattered farms and small groups of houses and secondly from three
small villages that coalesced the original centres of agriculture. So we have 'Old' Bollington in the east, West
Bollington in the middle and Bollington Cross in the
south, strung along two miles of road. In addition, there is the outlying area of Lowerhouse at the bottom end of Albert Road and Gnathole at the end of Adlington Road. Hanging over all is Kerridge which retains its individuality as well as its name.
Because of the layout of these parts the resulting town is very long and narrow; two
miles from end to end but generally not very wide, controlled to some extent by the
geography of the valleys within which the town is built. Ingersley
is not really a part of Bollington, being in Rainow parish. However, Ingersley Vale is
very important to Bollington and so it has its own page. And the most important part of all is our very own White Nancy sitting on top of Kerridge Hill!
Old is in quotes because it is not formally
used in the name. But it is used locally to differentiate this part of the town. This is
the largest part of the town and was developed in the 19thC with the coming of the mills
and quarries. As a result most of the buildings are built of stone - hence another local
term; the stone end of Bollington. The mills in 'Old' Bollington included Defiance Mill (Queen Street), Higher Mill and Lower Mill (both at the end
of Church Street), Oak Bank Mill (now Hamson Drive), Clarence Mill (top of Clarence
Road), and Whitaker's Mill (Turner Street). The mills of Ingersley
Vale have a page to themselves. Clarence Mill houses the Civic Society's Discovery Centre.
Other notable locations include St. John's
Church; the main shopping areas of High Street (above) and Palmerston Street; Water
Street with its fantastic hanging baskets and window boxes in the summer, the old school
building, and the river tunnel (really!); Pool Bank - more interesting in the past, when
it was really a pool, rather than its unattractive look today; Beeston quarry with the
old Oak Bank Mill chimney and the Lookout on top of its cliffs; Bridge End and its
historic buildings; Queen Street, probably the most quaint street in town; the war
memorial gardens; Rock Bank House; Limefields House; Beeston Brow.
Canal aqueduct across Palmerston Street is normally regarded as the divide between
'Old' Bollington and West Bollington, though the railway viaduct is really a more
sensible place because the buildings between the two transport crossings are really in
the style of 'Old' Bollington. I will use the latter divide and include other notable
locations such as St. Gregory's Church; the Methodist Church; the Town Hall; the Arts Centre; the Civic Hall with the Library beneath; the course of the old
railway, now known as the Middlewood Way; the Recreation ground;
the small community at the end of Adlington Road (see below);
This part of town is dual centred, on Wellington Road at its junction with
Garden Street and Hawthorn Road (left), and a couple of hundred metres west around the Bayleaf Indian restaurant on the junction of Wellington Road, Henshall
Road, Grimshaw Lane. The oldest building here is Bollington Hall Farm, half way between the two
centres. While stone is used in many buildings, brick is also commonplace with some
buildings using it for back and sides and the more modern houses being all in brick.
However, the mills were built in stone. The only one remaining here is Adelphi Mill.
Waterhouse Mill was demolished in the 1960s and replaced with the modern Kay Metzeler
Notable locations include the Waterhouse Medical Centre, Brook House,
Albert Road leading to St. Gregory's
Primary School, Dean Valley
Primary School and Lowerhouse, Grimshaw Lane leading to
Bollington Wharf on the Macclesfield
Canal, St. John's Primary School,
Going up the hill on Henshall Road towards the junction with South West
Avenue marks the boundary with Bollington Cross.
West Bollington is divided by the Middlewood Way, a fourteen mile nature trail on the old railway track.
Tucked into a corner known as Gnathole, a dozen houses at the end of
Adlington Road huddle against the boundary with Adlington. Lodge Brow rises above them
on one side, the trees of Gnathole wood rise on another. They look out across the
recreation ground with a backdrop of Kerridge Hill and White Nancy. A truly delightful
spot - in spite of the name!
Almost unseen a small stream runs in a stone built duct beneath the houses
and all the way across the children's' playground, under the railway viaduct and only
re-appears where it drains into the river Dean. Not a lot of people know that!
This delightful hamlet, actually a part of West Bollington, was almost
entirely the creation of Samuel Greg who not only developed the Lowerhouse Mill (it was already in operation when he arrived in 1832) but also
built many of the cottages and the library/school for his workers. He provided them with allotments and encouraged them to grow their own vegetables.
The mill has been in almost continuous use since 1818 and has its own mill pond, used only for fishing today. For many years there was a sand quarry in the field behind the mill and this area was re-developed as the County Council's amenity centre. The meadows between the mill and what used to be the 'tip', but now called the Public Amenity Centre, have been the subject of strongly contested planning applications, resulting in a new industrial development being started in late 2006 and another likely to be constructed in the future.
Moss Brow is one of the original lanes in the area, once part of Moss Lane, remaining unchanged, except for its metalled surface, perhaps for centuries, and leading to Bollington Cross. For about 50 years this was the only access to Lowerhouse and its mill, until Albert Road was built in 1868.
Buildings along Henshall Road and
Bollington Road, through Turner Heath, mark the old stone part of this end of town.
However, the majority of houses are relatively modern - 20thC - arranged in two large
estates, known as South West Avenue and Ovenhouse Lane, which are actually adjacent to
each other. There was never any industry other than agriculture in Bollington Cross - no
mills, no quarries - it has always been entirely domestic.
The cross is marked today by the new stone cross erected for the
millennium (left). The stone was quarried from Bridge Quarry, Kerridge, on the side of
Kerridge Hill. Mrs. Doreen Earl fashioned it on her computer controlled stone dressing
machine into the beautiful monument you see today. The embellishments are not carved but
Notable sites include Bollington Cross
School; St. Oswalds Church; the Cock & Pheasant inn (the only one at this end of the town);
Turner Heath House; Barley Grange (used to be the Barley Mow pub);
the new cross; Bollington Leisure
Centre; The Mount - once the Greg family home, now an elderly persons home in Flash
There is a very strong desire
locally to maintain a green strip between Bollington Cross and Tytherington - Bollington
is very certain that it does not want its individuality and identity to be subsumed by
the urban sprawl that is Macclesfield.