Macclesfield South and West
This cycle route is a circular route to the south and west of Macclesfield. It provides an interesting journey through the lanes around Gawsworth, Marton, Swettenham, Lower Withington, Siddington, Chelford, Alderley Edge and Mottram. The route mostly follows quiet lanes, apart from the unavoidable stretch along the main road from Chelford to Alderley Edge.
|Distance:||25.6 miles (41.1 km)|
|Terrain:||Mostly lanes. Gentle, but one or two medium climbs.|
|Time:||2 to 3 hours|
|Maps:||OS Explorer Map 268|
|Grid Ref:||SJ 910 739|
The route starts and ends in the centre of Macclesfield. Follow the signs to Alderley Edge (B5087) and / or the hospital. You will soon come to a mini roundabout, where you can either continue straight on towards Alderley Edge (B5087), or bear left for the hospital. Bear left along Victoria Road here towards the hospital.
Along the route you will come very close to Gawsworth Hall, which is worth a short detour - instead of turning right down Maggoty Lane, continue straight on for a short distance. There are actually two Gawsworth Halls - the old hall and the new hall. Pictured here is the new hall. Gawsworth New Hall was begun by Lord Mohun in 1707 but abandoned after he was killed in a duel with the Duke of Hamilton in 1712. Later additions and alterations were made including those to the designs of Sir Hubert Worthington in 1914. It is built in red brick with a stone slate roof. It has two storeys and attic with an E-shaped plan. The garden front has 16 bays. The old hall is also worth a visit. Gawsworth Old Hall is a Grade I listed country house. It is a timber-framed house in the Cheshire black-and-white style. The present house was built between 1480 and 1600, replacing an earlier Norman house. It was probably built as a courtyard house enclosing a quadrangle, but much of it has been demolished, leaving the house with a U-shaped plan. The present hall was owned originally by the Fitton family, and later by the Gerards, and then the Stanhopes. Since the 1930s it has been in the possession of the Richards family.
From Gawsworth, the route next takes uou through Marton and Swettenham down quiet lanes, and then on to Lower Withington. Lower Withington is a thriving village widely recognised as an attractive and peaceful place to live. It is very close to Jodrell Bank: the Granada Arboretum attached to the radio telescope lies within the parish. The village itself has a large green surrounded by trees, and a strikingly handsome parish hall, built in the 1960s with funds raised locally and still maintained by the Parish Hall Committee. It has a mixed residential and farming community, and in past decades has seen the growth of an important sand quarry, and a large specialist plant producer.
Next comes Siddington. Siddington is a civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East. It consists of farms, a picnic site, Redesmere (a half-mile long lake), and the Capesthorne Estate. After Siddington, the route heads towards Chelford, and then Alderley Edge. The area around Alderley Edge provides proof of occupation since the Mesolithic period with flint implements being found along the line of the sandstone outcrop. Evidence for copper mining in the Bronze Age has also been discovered to the south of the area, and in 1995 members of the Derbyshire Caving Club discovered a hoard of 564 coins of the Roman Empire (now in the Manchester Museum) dating from AD 317 to AD 336. There are to date 13 recorded sites on the County Sites and Monuments Record (CSMR) in the settled area of Alderley Edge and 28 in Nether Alderley, with a further 44 along the Edge itself.
The route returns to Macclesfield via the village of Mottram St. Andrew. According to the 2001 census, the village has a population of 629 people. The parish contains Mottram Hall, nowadays a hotel and golfing centre. In recent years, the village and its environs have proved to be popular with high profile sportsmen residents including footballers Wayne Rooney, Owen Hargreaves and Carlos Tevez and cricketer Andrew Flintoff.
The route is also available as a plain page.