Above: This 1890 OS map shows both Bunsal and Errwood Farms (click to enlarge). The blue shading shows the position of the twin reservoirs today. 

The map also shows the track down to the ford across the Goyt. A suspension bridge was built across this spot during the construction of Fernilee Reservoir in the 1930s (click for more details).

Above: A view across the valley with Bunsal Farm bottom right and Errwood Farm in the distance. The Goyt runs along the valley from left to right, and just beyond is the old road from Goyt’s Bridge to Whaley Bridge via the gunpowder mill.

Bunsal Farm

Bunsal Farm was situated on the left, at the base of the Bunsall Incline – the straight and steep slope which today forms the main route into the Goyt valley from the Buxton to Whaley Bridge ‘Long Hill’ road. All that remains today is a levelled area, surrounded by trees and barbed wire, near the southern end of Fernilee Reservoir.

The census records from 1871 show it was occupied by John Hibbert, who farmed some 140 acres, and his family. The Hibberts had a long association with the Goyt valley, and were amongst the last families to live here before Stockport Corporation compulsory purchased the land in 1930 to construct the twin reservoirs.

John Hibbert died in 1901 aged 70, and his wife Ellen in 1910 aged 76. After their deaths, their eldest son, John is recorded as head of the family, living with his sister Ann and younger brother James.

Another son, Thomas Bennet Hibbert, moved to Goyt’s Bridge sometime between 1901 and 1911, with his wife and daughter. Thomas’s name appears on a sign in Goyt’s Bridge which I’ve spent some time trying to make sense of. Click here to view.

Surname First name Born (Died) Relationship Occupation Birth place
1871 Census
Hibbert John 1831 Head Farmer Fernilee
Hibbert Ellen 1834 Wife Fernilee
Hibbert Ann 1864 Daughter Hartington Upper Quarter
Hibbert John 1867 Son Hartington Upper Quarter
Hibbert Joe 1869 Daughter Hartington Upper Quarter
1881 Census
Hibbert John 1831 Head Farmer 140 acres Fernilee
Hibbert Ellen 1834 Wife Fernilee
Hibbert John 1867 Son Scholar Hartington Upper Quarter
Hibbert Joe 1867 Son Scholar Hartington Upper Quarter
Hibbert Ellen 1868 Daughter Scholar Hartington Upper Quarter
Hibbert Thomas B 1875 Son Scholar Hartington Upper Quarter
Hibbert James 1879 Hartington Upper Quarter
1891 Census
Hibbert John 1831 Head Farmer
Hibbert Ellen 1834 Wife
Hibbert Annie 1865 Daughter Farm assistant
Hibbert Thomas 1875 Son Farm assistant
Hibbert James 1879 Son Farm assistant
1901 Census
Hibbert John 1831 Head
Hibbert Ellen 1834 Wife
Hibbert Annie 1865 Daughter
Hibbert (Thomas) Bennet 1874 Son
Hibbert James 1879 Son
Hibbert Thomas 1899 Grandson
1911 Census
Hibbert John c1867 Head Farmer Bunsall Farm
Hibbert Ann c1865 Sister Housekeeper Bunsall Farm
Hibbert James c1878 Brother Agricultural labourer Bunsall Farm