Ever to watch over us
home > White Nancy
Origin of the name | What & Why? | Steps | Woodland
path | Spectacular
Views | View
from above! | Nancy Mosaic |
Nancy | Waterloo Nancy | KRIV
Nancy voted most loved local landmark! Macclesfield Borough Council ran an internet Pride of Place vote to find out which was the most loved local landmark and, no surprise to Bollingtonians, our very own White Nancy won by a mile with almost 25% of the votes cast. Macclesfield Forest came second with Tatton Hall third.
What and why?
This c.18 foot high Grade
II listed landmark
standing on the top of Kerridge Hill overlooking
Bollington is visible for miles around. Its image
provides the logo (top left) for the town of
Bollington. The small rectangle represents the
door that used to provide entry.
White Nancy was actually built as a summer house
by the Gaskell
family, who lived below the hill at Ingersley
Hall, in about 1815. It is stone built with
external rendering and regularly painted white
in order to maintain its visibility. It is thought
that it may have been built at that time to commemorate
the battle of Waterloo. Internally there is
a seat all round the wall with a large table in
the centre. The table is circular, cut from a single
piece of stone.
It is believed to have been constructed by a man
named Dod who is supposed to have celebrated his
work by enjoying a tot of brandy and then reciting
Here's to the mountain of Nancy
That's built upon Ingersley Hill
Here's good health, wealth and fancy
And give Dod another gill!
A gill (pronounced like Jill) is an Imperial measure
of fluid once used to dispense alcoholic drink.
Origin of the name
As to the origin of the name 'White Nancy',
there are several theories but none has any firm evidence
to support it. It may have been named after a
Gaskell daughter, Nancy (I have a
record of one by that name). Then again, maybe after
the horse that is said to have hauled the table top up
My preferred theory is that the name is
derived from the fact that Kerridge hill has a stone
trigonometric point - properly known as an Ordnance point
- on its highest hill. These were established by the
military in the 18th and 19th centuries to enable surveying
for map making. Soon after its construction White Nancy
was referred to as Northern Nancy, reflecting the fact
that she was constructed at the north end of the hill
upon which there was an Ordnance point. We know that
the structure was painted white as early as 1856 (see
this poem). Take
The Gaskell family are said to have left
an endowment for the annual maintenance of our Nancy
- the princely sum of 2/6 per annum; that's 2 shillings
and 6 pence or half a crown in old money and 12½p
in decimal currency!
* Peter Etherington is one of many prolific
and skilful artists who live in and around Bollington.
Their work is on public display each year at the Bollington
Art Group annual show in the early summer, held at the
Hall. Watch for announcements.
Over the weekend of 19th - 21st June
2015 Bollington enjoyed a programme of events to celebrate
the 200th anniversary of the victory at the Battle of
Waterloo as well as the 200th anniversary of the building
of White Nancy on Kerridge hill which was itself erected
to remember the victory at Waterloo.
Events included a remembrance at the grave of James
Robertshaw, the only Bollingtonian known to have fought
at Waterloo, a Ceilidh, a Waterloo supper, welly planting,
welly throwing, and to close the events a huge picnic
attended by hundreds of townsfolk on Kerridge hill around
White Nancy (picture right). The monument had been specially
decorated for the event - a competition was held and
the winning design can be seen in the picture.
the 1980s, at Christmas,
Nancy was painted in artistic form such as a Father Christmas
or Plum Pudding! In more recent years it has suffered
at the hands of vandals with graffiti and on one occasion
it was painted overall in pink! In May 2009 it was repainted
in time for the Festival with a fresh coat of white and,
for the first time in many years, with a black top. This
colour certainly aids ones view of the whole monument
on cloudy days.
In 1919 James Shepley Chatterton wrote a delightful poem
about White Nancy (click to read).
White Nancy was beautifully decorated in the appropriate
insignia for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in June
2012. The artwork was carefully painted by volunteers
Carol & Philip Barnes with the assistance of
their daughter Shona and her boyfriend Ben Taylor
on the commission of Bollington Town Council. Carol
was a member of the BTC Jubilee Committee who organised
the events held over that memorably wet Jubilee
Pictured (right) in soft evening sunlight.
Ridge and Ingersley Vale Countryside & Heritage
carried out over five years to 2010. The objective
was to preserve and develop those aspects of the area
that are most enjoyed by the local population. A major
item was the construction of the new woodland path
to the top of the hill, see next item ...
The KRIV work party continue to meet each
Friday to maintain the hill and the surrounding area in
the condition it was raised to by the project.
Woodland path up Kerridge
The volunteers working on the KRIV
project built a new path up Kerridge Hill.
It begins on the middle road about 10m downhill
from the cattle grid at the bottom of the stone
steps. This new path finds its way up the hill
through the woods with short lengths of steps and
intervening paths. There are a couple of places
to rest on stone benches, both providing excellent
views out through the trees.
Interpretation boards are provided to give walkers
information on the trees to be seen along the path.
path up the north face of Kerridge Hill has always been
steep and was often difficult especially in wet or frozen
weather. In order to improve accessibility the Town Council
decided that a proper path should be constructed from the
private roadway that crosses the north face of the hill
(the middle road) to the top. This project became known
as the Kerridge Steps.
Experts were sought from Cumbria where they have considerable
experience in building paths and steps on hillsides. The
type of construction recommended was a pitched stone path.
This is where blocks of stone are settled into the ground
edge on. The idea is to reduce to a minimum the possibility
of the stones tilting and becoming dislodged. With careful
construction this technique provides a high level of grip
to the feet with very little opportunity to slip and a
progression of steps at alternate angles across the path
so making it reasonably easy for walkers with different
stride lengths to progress up or down the hill in a comfortable
This path is used by about 40,000 people each year. Many
taking longer walks go only
one way but others go up and down. Such traffic takes
its toll on the paths and steps and after about ten years
of this the stone path is showing distinct signs of wear.
Several stones have moved, tilting over or moving away
from their proper place. So care is needed, particularly
when coming down - pay attention to the path, stop when
taking in the fabulous view!
Some walkers have found the path difficult but it should
be appreciated that the climb and descent is about 300
feet of continuous steps - human legs are not immediately
capable of surmounting this many steps in one go! Especially
coming down them! Take it carefully. You might find it
easier to take the woodland path (described above) where
the steps are wider spaced and interspersed with lengths
of near level path.
beautiful mosaic has been created by Luis Laso Casas - http://www.mosaicoslapasera.com,
from Asturias, Spain, who has never been to Bollington to
look at the real Nancy! It was inspired by a black & white
winter photograph taken by Bollington photographer Katherine
Lewis and the mosaic was commissioned by a Bollington resident. The
story of the mosaic can be found here. Email
Picture by kind permission of Luis Laso
Kerridge Hill is renowned for its fabulous views. Whether
it be the nearby hills to the east, the Cheshire plain
to the west or Bollington laid out beneath you, there is
so much to see from up here. We have two beautiful pictures
taken by local photographer Roger Fielding. These panoramic
views are in separate pages because they are on the large
side, around 200k each.
300° view from White Nancy (wider
150° view of the town from
White Nancy (narrower
300° view from The
the middle of Kerridge Hill, above Five Ashes)
The following pictures were taken by local photographer
Peter Neville using a camera suspended from a kite!
360 aerial view of and around Nancy (brilliant!)
After clicking this link, for a full screen image click on 'Full screen'
in the left hand menu then click 'White Nancy'. Click on the picture and
move the mouse to change the viewing direction.
of St George Taken
during the World Cup 2010
lapse mist video from Big Low, Rainow 3.5
hours in 1 minute on a misty morn.
Views of White Nancy are available on the Wallpaper