Distance: 6.5 km/4 miles
Time: 2 to 3 hours
Start: Public Car Park on Waterloo Road
Map: OS Explorer 257
Terrain: Minor roads and public footpaths, fairly level gradient throughout with some steep points.
Barriers: Approximately 22 stiles
Explore the parish of Haslington along footpaths and country lanes. Discover its wonderful countryside with old buildings and battle sites.
During the Civil War, there was a great deal of unrest in the area. 1643 was the year of the ‘Barthomley Massacre’ when Royalists pillaged Crewe and Haslington. Slaughter Hill was the site of the Skirmish between Royalist and Parliamentarian troops. According to local legend the battle made the brook run red with blood. A sword was actually found embedded in a bank of Valley Brook.
The Duchy of Lancaster owns the land in the area of Amicia Tenement. This estate cottage is much more elaborate than normal as it was used regularly by Lord Crewe for afternoon tea. He was known to be quite eccentric, staying up all night, to the dismay of his butler!
Crewe Golf Club first opened a nine-hole golf course in1911. The land was rented from a local farmer at a cost of £4 per annum. The greens had to be fenced off and bunkers could only be constructed so long as they did not interfere with cattle grazing. As you pass the golf course pond in summer, look out for dragonflies darting in and out of the marginal plants.
Many ponds in Cheshire are old marl pits. Marl is a type of clay that was used by farmers to improve soil fertility, during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Local place-names such as Heathfield Farm and Hall o’the Heath Farm suggest that this area was once heathland. Mosslands are another feature of this area. Eighty people had the right to cut peat for fuel on Oakhanger Moss, in the seventeenth century.
The splendid timber framed Haslington Hall was built by Admiral Sir Francis Vernon in 1545 and contains parts of the original medieval manor house. Later the hall became the home of Mrs Watts, the founder and first President of the Women’s Institute.
The Hawk Inn was once used for stabling horses and it is rumoured that Dick Turpin once stayed here. The Inn also had a mortuary and has a ghost known as the ‘Lady in Grey’.
The first motorised buses passing through Haslington were called the Busy Bee and the Flying Fox. Prior to this, horse buses were used and until quite recently, there was a working blacksmith at the junction of Waterloo Road with the main road. The last horse was shod at the old smithy in 1974.
Full Address: Public Car Park on Waterloo Road , Haslington , Cheshire , CW1 5TF