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Fernilee Toll House

Fernilee Toll House once stood beside the Long Hill Road between Buxton and Whaley Bridge. Today, there’s very little sign this attractive building ever existed. Which is a great shame.

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‘Gruesome’ memorial

‘…it was not in keeping with the spirit of the times that so public a reminder of such a gruesome event should exist, and that it acted as a deterrent to persons of a timid nature going there.’

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The packhorse bridge

A wonderful painting of the packhorse bridge captures the picturesque beauty of the Goyt Valley. It now spans the Goyt about a mile upstream, where it was moved in 1965.

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Magic lantern slides

A couple of ‘magic-lantern’ slides taken in the valley around the 1920s. One of ladies crossing the stepping stones in Goyt’s Bridge. The other a group of children sharing a picnic.

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10. The execution

‘…he observed, with a smile upon his countenance, “This is an easy way to get to Heaven.” He was then led towards the drop, which he surveyed with undiminished firmness.’

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9. Judgement of death

When the concluding words of “the Lord have mercy on your soul” were pronounced, the prisoner looked fervently up to Heaven, and in a trembling voice said “Amen”.

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8. The verdict

The prisoner heard the awful decision without any apparent emotion; and shortly afterwards a glass of water or lemonade was brought, which he drank off at a draught.

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7. Macclesfield witnesses

The story of the brutal murder of William Wood on the road between Disley and Whaley Bridge now moves to Macclesfield, where Joseph Dale and his two co-accused fled on the following day.

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6. The trial begins

The trial of Joseph Dale for the murder of William Wood took place at Chester Castle. One of his co-accused had already hung himself. The other was still at large. Dale pleaded not guilty.

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5. Suspects lost & found

17-year-old murder suspect, Charles Taylor, is securely locked behind the grim walls of Manchester’s New Bailey Prison. He uses his stockings and gaiters to escape justice.

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Air crash remains

Two small wooden crosses standing over a collection of metal machinery, close to Shining Tor, commemorate a tragic air accident that occurred at this very spot in March 1944.

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4. The chase

“…a suspicion arose that these three fellows had been concerned in the deed, and upon examining their old cloathes, they were found much stained with blood.”

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3. The inquest

“On Saturday week, an Inquest was held at the Cock Inn, Whaley, on the body of this unfortunate man, who was found barbarously murdered on the old road from Disley to Whaley-Bridge…”

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2. Innocent or guilty?

Did 17-year-old Joseph Dale, described in court as “a very peaceable, quiet lad, always good tempered and kind to his family”, pay the ultimate price for a murder he did not commit?

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Taxal Bridge

A photo captioned ‘View of footbridge over stream (possibly Goyt Valley) c.1854’ was a fascinating find. But identifying where it once stood wasn’t so easy. Could it have been the one over the Goyt at Taxal?

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Grimshawe vault sealed

Mr Oyarzibel took the opportunity of denying the stories that the bodies of the Grimshaws in the vault are embalmed in glass-topped coffins, and that the corpses still wear gold watch chains…

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1. The Murder Stone

This small, stone memorial, on the back road between Whaley Bridge and Disley, commemorates William Wood who was murdered at this very spot nearly two centuries ago. It’s a gruesome tale!

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Buried treasure!

A wonderful tale of a loveable Whaley Bridge rogue who won a bet with the Disley police. And also hunted for the Grimshawe’s treasure which was said to be buried close to Errwood Hall.

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Cheshire tithe maps

Alec has discovered a wonderful website that reveals a lot about the history of the Cheshire side of the Goyt Valley. Including the position of the second Stonyway Toll House.

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Goyt’s Moss Farmhouse

Another photo from the 1960s album shows Goyt’s Moss Farm in ruins. Which is odd as that this would mean it had been derelict for some 30 years. Perhaps the photo is earlier than I thought.

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Goyt ice skating

An early ’60s black and white photo of skaters on the frozen pond at the head of the Bunsall Incline brings back memories of an earlier scene, described in Strephon’s typically flowery style in an 1880 article.

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Goyt’s Bridge dreamer

A wonderful early photo of Goyt’s Bridge seems to tell an intriguing tale. Why is the young lady so wrapped up in her thoughts, as her men-folk look on, separated by the waters of the Goyt?

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Stonyway update

After much discussion on the Goyt Valley Facebook Group, we think we’ve finally nailed down where the first Stonyway Toll Booth once stood. But where it was moved to is still a mystery!

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“Lest we forget!!”

“Lest we forget!!” is handwritten on this 1918 postcard of the road from Derbyshire Bridge to Goytsclough. I’m hoping someone may be able to decipher the message on the reverse.

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