Friday, 7 June 2019

Quarry Bank Mill, Styal - and more rhododendrons

Quarry Bank House

As part of our weekend away in Manchester, last Sunday we headed out to Quarry Bank Mill at Styal, near Wilmslow.

Working round the weather, and anticipated afternoon rain, we started by walking downhill from the car park to the mill and Quarry Bank House, situated together beside the river Bollin which powered the mill's machinery. We thought we'd walk round the gardens first then check out the buildings later if/when the rain came. As it was, we strayed off into Chapel Woods, walked up hill to the village once lived in by the mill's workers - and then decided we (or at least, I) couldn't face walking back down the hill, and up again, to visit the mill.

The Gregs were by all accounts caring, compassionate mill-owners in comparison to others but the juxtaposition of grand house and mill still jars.

The formal gardens lead to wilder areas, full at this time of year with the exuberant flowers of rhododendrons, and on to Chapel Woods where paths lead further afield, or up the hill to the workers' cottages and chapel in Styal.

Today it's a pleasant country park, a destination for an afternoon picnic with lots to do outside - gardens to wander through, a riverside walk, and Chapel Woods to explore. Only one thing disturbs the peace - the noise from adjoining Manchester airport!

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