Two bridges on the Macclesfield Canal in High Lane are “listed” by English Heritage. They are both interesting but not particularly noteworthy. Bridge Eleven carries the A6 over the canal so it is wide enough to almost be described as a tunnel. About 150 metres to the south Bridge Twelve curves gently as it carries the towpath over the entrance to High Lane wharf, a much more interesting feature. This is a particularly attractive bridge with a gentle curve taking the towpath over the entrance to the canal arm. The canal itself is important as one of the last narrow canals built.
Anyone travelling to Strines station will pass an exotic structure on the left hand side - a dovecote planted firmly in the middle of the mill pond. It is a Grade II listed building but that immediately raises two questions. Why is it there and when was it constructed? The short answer to both these questions is the same - “We don’t know” but we can make some informed guesses.
First, the date. English Heritage claim it is of uncertain date but probably late C19. However, according to Rosemary Taylor, the Strines historian, it was there in 1852 because it appeared on the cover of the Strines Journal of that date. The printing works was first established in 1792 but experienced two subsequent expansions. The reservoir where the pigeon cote was erected was excavated about 1832 so that would seem to date the pigeon cote to between 1832 and 1852. So far we cannot be more precise.
Hibbert Lane owes its name to the local Hibbert family. In 1606 Thomas Hibbert, a local yeoman , bought the title ‘Lord of the Manor’ from Sir Edward Stanley of Tonge.
This building, on the east side of Upper Hibbert Lane near the junction with Hawk Green Road, is one of the oldest in Hawk Green. Built as a single structure, it is now two cottages, though originally it was probably three. Two storey cottages such as this are relatively modest by modern standards but at the time they would indicate an owner of some substance - a yeoman or skilled craftsman. As to its age, the initials and date on the door lintel - IBK 1686 - gives us a clue.
There is an unusual building on Church Lane, close to the tower of the old Georgian church. To be precise it is two buildings, roughly joined together at a slight angle and presenting four pointed-arch bays to the road. Although there are architectural differences, both buildings are built of dressed stone with separate graduated split-stone roofs.
The larger of the two buildings is now used as a domestic dwelling but it is not too difficult to work out what it was. It was built by John Bradshaw-Isherwood of Marple Hall to accommodate his coach and horses whilst he was attending services at what was then a new church.........
For most of the last millennium the basic units of local government were townships. These were divisions within the ecclesiastical parishes which gradually gained civic and administrative responsibilities as society became more sophisticated. Bredbury and Romiley were two separate townships in the Middle Ages but they were brought together in the nineteenth century in order to establish units of local government. First as a Local Board, then as a sanitary district and finally, after 1894, as an urban district council, it was a unified authority. In 1976 it lost its autonomy when it was brought under the control of Stockport MBC at the same time as Marple UDC.
The authority is adjacent to Marple and many of the same factors influenced the growth of industry in the two townships as in Marple but there were and are distinct differences. Industrial activity began earlier in Ludworth and Mellor because of the fast-flowing streams which provided adequate power for early mills. Nevertheless the two districts had much in common. There were.....