Tuesday, October 2 – Warburton Old Church

We made arrangements to meet at 11am at Barton Bridge, Tom and I, and I arrived there just on time.  We are not out for speed today, as Tuesday is a pottering day for us.  After watching a ship pass along the Ship Canal, we made off for Flixton and Partington, where we took the road we had joined by mistake, on that memorable all-night run in September.  We found it was a bridle path to Warburton, along the Ship Canal bank.  A big ship passed us here, the ‘Cornwall’ of London, and the wash it made was truly amazing.  Arrived at Warburton, we decided to explore the interior of Warburton Old Church.  One half of this is wooden, the beams inside are of oak, and the tower is of red brick, whilst the rest is in stone with a cement floor, giving it a quaint look that is in keeping with its age and antiquity.

The whole was originally built of timber, but in 1645 it was rebuilt with red sandstone from Lymm, and the brick tower was erected in 1711.  A stone coffin in the Park Pew dates from the 12th century, the font cover is dated 1595 and the bell 1575.  The earliest date in the register was made in 1611, but entries were not regularly made until 1634.  It is known, however, that an earlier church stood on the same ground for 700 or 800 years at least.  All the pews and seats were removed on the south side in 1895, on account of dry rot.  After a glance round the churchyard we made along a bylane, which eventually ended by the canal, and further progress was stopped by a river entering it.  On our return, we started gathering blackberries, thus idling away the time.  At last we reached Warburton, where we found a good tea place at 4pm.

Off again at 5pm we ran through Heatley to Broomedge, along the Lymm road, the bylanes to Millington, then, crossing the Northwich road, we sped downhill to Rostherne Mere.  Stopping at the church, we had a glance round the graveyard (the church was locked up), and gained a good view of ‘the prettiest Cheshire Mere’.  In the gloaming we wandered through the village, and after a series of pretty lanes we came to Ashley and Hale, where we lit our lamps.  Altrincham followed, then the main road, and after making arrangements for weekend, we parted at Stretford.  Owing to a shortage of oil, my lamp gave me a deal of trouble, and whenever I could I had to economise by turning it out.  I returned via the usual route – Barton, Worsley etc, reaching home at 8.15pm.

55 miles, 10 hours

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