Tockholes – Walk 8



Meet 6.10pm at Toby Carvery Car Park Greenmount or 6.50pm at Roddlesworth Information Car Park BB3 0PA Grid ref. 665215
This is a lovely walk through woodland and fields to the ancient village of Tockholes, passing The Pinfold for stray animals before arriving at the church with an outside pulpit, then through fieldsto Abbey village and returning alongside Roddlesworth Reservoirs. The parish of Tockholes has 26 grade 2 listed buildings and this walk goes past many of these.

Friday 1st July – Walk 8 – Roddlesworth Circular

walk 8

Go out of the car park and take the footpath opposite the Royal Arms down into the woodland. Atthe cross tracks turn right and follow this wide track to the far end of the first reservoir. Just after a main track comes up from the left take the narrow footpath off to the right and through an old iron kissing gate to head up the field to Higher Hill farm.

This 17 th century grade 2 listed building has a garderobe, this ‘lofty privy’ jutting out from the first floor was once the height of fashion in hygiene.

Go over 2 stiles onto the farm lane. Turn right, go through farm gate and up the access road passing cottages on left. Turn left passing Rose Cottage to take footpath running down the left of another row of cottages. The wall of the end cottage in this row is painted white. Follow this path running next to an old stone wall, although narrow this is a bridleway.

This was once a packhorse route dating back to Saxon times. Take a look at the Pinfold on the right, a small square piece of land enclosed by a high stone wall where stray animals were kept until their owner came to claimed them.

Then pass an old graveyard on the left and continue down the road to pass the URC Church on the left. Continue on this quiet road to St, Stephens Church. In the graveyard there is an old Toch stone dated AD 684

The village of Tockholes has a long history with records going back to the 13 th century. In St Stephen’s graveyard is the remnant of the old preaching cross said to date from the year 684. This
is mounted on the old Toches stone from which the village takes its name. The church has been
rebuilt several times. The present church was built in 1965. The porch from the 1833 church has
been retained and the area covered by the previous church is still visible, some of its buttresses are
incorporated into the present foundation. John Balderston’s grave is behind the church. He During
the Industrial Revolution he invented the weft fork, many made money out of it, but he died a pauper.

St Stephen’s Old School is on the right just after entering the graveyard through the medieval style lychgate. Built in 1834 it has an outside pulpit accessed from the inside through an arched doorway. The listed sundial is in front of this building. During the Civil War a field near the church was the site of a battle between the Parliamentarians and the Royalists. Musket balls, cannon balls and other military items have been found around the area and in 1833 about 40 horses were unearthed in what was previously known locally as Kill Field, renamed officially as Pit Field. Presumably the bodies of the soldiers were buried in the church yard.


After visiting the church go a short distance back to pass Chapels Barn and Chapels farmhouse, then turn right on track and through metal gate down towards animal sheds. Bear left to go over wooden fencing next to metal gate, or undo gate and go through. Go straight down field through wooden gate then turn left to go through small footpath gate to follow grassy footpath which goes across a stream and up to tarmac road. Here turn right down access road passing Higher  Crowtrees Farm and cottages. Take footpath on the left just after The Barn Lower Crowtrees. Continue through wooden gate then stile to follow footpath round field following stream to next stile. Go over stile then stream and through metal gates to follow footpath straight on following line of oak trees ahead. Near end of field footpath bears right, stile to go over is on the right of a large oak tree. Turn left on access road and follow this through property Red Lees. Turn left just after what looks like the barn to take the footpath through a small gate. After going over footbridge and onto tarmac road. Cross road to take footpath opposite with steps going steeplymuphill. Then over stile into field. Turn right up field to next stile which is about 50 metres on the right of metal gate. Turn left to Abbey Village. When almost at the main road turn left between the stone posts sign for Roddlesworth Reservoirs.


On the right is the start of the 3.5 mile channel ‘The Goit’ which links these reservoirs to the
Rivington chain of reservoirs. All the reservoirs were built between 1850 and 1875 to solve
Liverpool’s water shortage. It was then the greatest water taking project and served as a model
for water works all over the world. Thomas Hawksley was the talented engineer whose
imagination and foresight made this whole area what it is today.

Keep on the left side of the first Reservoir passing house on the left before crossing the bridge to go straight on uphill and round bend then go over footbridge on the right. Turn left after footbridge and follow footpath at the side of reservoir. At fork in paths keep left and go through gate to follow channel up to dam of next reservoir. Go across wooden footbridge, then turn left to follow footpath under the trees to T junction. Turn right up to top, then left over wide bridge. Turn right following footpath at the edge of the Reservoir. Turn right where path meets the main track. Follow main track to cross tracks. Here turn left uphill back to the start at Roddlesworth Information centre and Café.

The café/Information centre is on the site of the former Hollinshead Mill demolished by Liverpool Corporation in 1903/4. It is open every day serving very good home- made food and has the added attraction of a one way glass window through which many wild birds can be seen feeding, these include great spotted woodpecker, nuthatches, chaffinches and many more.