Macclesfield Canal And Old Coal Mines

Macclesdfield Coal

This walk takes you from the horseshoe bridge in kerridge and down the Macclesfield canal for a mile , over the fields in Hurdsfield towards Kerridge ridge ,where you will find the old Clayton Coal Mines ,then back through the picturesque valley .





The starting point of this walk is from Clark Lane Kerridge SK10 5AH.

Once you have parked up on Clarke Lane go to the horseshoe bridge which is the second on the road.  Take the second path which winds down under the bridge until you are on the Canal towpath going south.Continue walking for 1/2 a mile until you reach the next bridge

When you reach the first bridge you will see an old wharf.This was used to bring salt into the ICI works by barge when the canal was in full use.Continue under the bridge for another 1/2 mile until you reach a metal gate on the left hand side, keeping the Astra Zeneca (ICI) plant to your right you will notice there are several removed bridges on route which had gun emplacements built on them to protect the works during WW2.
At the first metal gate on your left go though into the field keeping to the path across to the far left hand corner. Go through the next gate and keep to the path. There is another gate which will lead you down to a gated stream bridge, which you cross.  Please remember to close all gates as this fields are used for livestock.

Warning these fields can get boggy in the winter or after heavy rain.

Having crossed the stream, follow the path over the field towards the trees ahead of you.You are now at the mine workings where there is a fenced off pond (see top picture).What you are looking at is a flooded Bell pit which is basically a big hole (open cast pit)where coal was extracted at the surface. These eventually filled with water that couldn’t be drained easily so were abandoned.  There are many of these little ponds in the valley, most  would have been an open cast coal working at one time.walk around the pond to the right until you get to a farm track.  Keeping left following the path keeping the old barn to your right. Approximately 100yrds further you will see a group of trees surrounded by a low wall, this is one of the old deep pit heads and the barn you past is said to have been the engine shed which housed the pullies and pumps to take down the miners and bring the coal up to be used in the mills and houses throughout the town and villages.

Continue on  down the path through a metal gate and down towards an old stone style.  Cross over into a field which is normally used for horse grazing.  Cross directly over the field and pass through another metal gate onto the farm track.  Turn left here and follow the track until you reach the canal.
Here you can either turn right down some steps onto the towpath and return to your car or continue straight onto the Middlewood Way, take a right at the end of the path after the back gate to Astra Zeneca, and walk down to the nearest bridge which will bring you out at Clarke Lane .