Sunday, 28 September 2008

River Goyt - (29/09)

Many of you passing by Torrs Hydro know the rivers Sett and Goyt but its interesting to know a little more about about where the water that goes over the Torr weir comes from, we'll start today with the River Goyt (that's the bigger of the two or the one on the right if you are facing the weir from the bridge)

The upper Goyt

The Goyt begins its journey high on the vast bleak heather clad moorland, two miles west of the town Buxton then starts to thread its journey northwards from its catchment area close to the A537 Buxton to Macclesfield road, and within sight of the popular Cat and Fiddle Inn.

At this point it stands at over 460 metres above sea level, and as the Goyt makes its way slowly towards the north, it begins its gradual descent as the natural force of water slowly cuts a channel through the thick beds of Millstone Grit and Shale.

Walking from the Macclesfield Old Road, the long disused coaching route out of Buxton, and following the course of the river Goyt on our right for a little over one mile, we soon reach the picturesque 300-year-old packhorse bridge. This formerly stood on the old salt way that ran east from Cheshire, much lower down the valley where the waters of the reservoir now stand

Near to the long disused Goyt's Clough Quarry, a little further on and to your right, there is a wonderful opportunity to take a walk down into the gorge and see river Goyt up close. Here you may sit on one of several benches and listen to the water tumbling over the huge jumble of rocks, or you might even hear either grouse, pheasant or curlew calling across the moorland.

Another mile further along the narrow road, you reach the Goyt reservoir. The landscape all around you is both wild and truly breath-taking, something to enjoy regardless of the prevailing weather conditions. Just prior to crossing a curved wrought iron bridge, and set well back through the trees to your left, there are the remains of Erwood Hall, situated among extensive stands of planted Rhododendron shrubs. This estate, until 1936, was formerly home to the Grimshawe family.

Looking north out over the dam wall, it offers the walker grand views over the much lower Fernilee reservoir, where throughout its length you can see mixed woodland on either side. The long disused trackbed of the historical Cromford & High Peak Railway follows the right-hand bank for the reservoir's entire length, whereafter it makes its way as far as the town of Whaley Bridge and the canal warfe, some two miles distant.

The Goyt then passes through Taxal and Horwich End where it is joined by the Todd Brook. Thereafter it passes through Whaley Bridge before eventually winding its way into New Mills and over the Torr weir.

After New Mills teh Goyt is then joined by the River Etherow, the Goyt joins the River Tame at Stockport, forming the River Mersey before heading into the Irish Sea.

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