Ashton under Lyne is a sprawling mass of housing and industrial properties, with a growing town centre; amidst excellent transport links to the city of Manchester and beyond. If you take the time to visit us here in Ashton under Lyne and come in by Tram, Bus or Train; the first you see is the back of the local shopping centre and the new college buildings. If you are inclined to shop rather than really visit the town, you have two shopping areas to choose from. The Arcades and the older Ladysmith shopping centres, which have their fair share of high street big names. If though you have come to visit Ashton under Lyne and don’t mind a walk, come and walk the hidden pathways of Ashton under Lyne
Hidden Pathways of Ashton under Lyne Past Glory
In truth the town of Ashton under Lyne is greater than its shopping centres, and even if you only want to visit more shops. Step away from the two main areas and explore the old town, part of the hidden pathways of Ashton under Lyne. If you walk past the market ground down Warrington Street and head towards Stamford Street. You will find what was once the main shopping street of Ashton town centre. This was once the bustling heart of Ashton under Lyne, in that time before national chains filled our high streets. The top end of Stamford Street is a mixture of hairdressers, music shops, furniture emporiums and even a home baking specialist.
Behind Stamford Street are some of the hidden secrets of the town, set in a backdrop of car parks is a real gem. St Michaels and All Angels Church is the local parish church of the town of Ashton under Lyne. Originally built in the mid thirteenth century around 1262, then rebuilt again in the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries. Sadly very little remains of the fifteenth century incarnation of this imposing building; but it does retain the original 15th century stained glass windows. These were donated by Sir Thomas De Assheton between 1497 and 1512, His brother being the infamous Sir Ralph De Assheton; unfortunately labelled the Black Knight of Ashton under Lyne.
Hidden Pathways of Ashton under Lyne Jerusalem
On the same street as the local parish church once stood a replica of Solomon’s temple and the home of the Christian Israelites. A local religious group led by John Wroe who for many years deprived the parish church of its wealthier benefactors. The followers of John Wroe’s church believed; they were to be members of the 12000 from each or the tribes of Israel who would be saved by God.
These wealthy families of Ashton under Lyne provided the funds to build the temple, a princely £15,000 at the time and allowing for inflation that would be around £1.6m in 2019. They also financed the building of four gates to match the gates of the city of Jerusalem. They had intended building a wall around the town, but John Wroe disgraced himself apparently. He was accused of impregnating a benefactor’s daughter, while spreading his word to the wider world. This ended John Wroe’s influence over Ashton under Lyne and his Church moved to Australia; I wonder then if they also became part of the 144,000 elect. The hidden pathways of Ashton under Lyne can lead to some fascinating local history.
Hidden Pathways of Ashton under Lyne A Quick Pint
Further down the street walking away from the parish church and the site of the Temple of the Christian Israelites is the Station Hotel. A local pub without a railway station in the vicinity, once upon a time it stood alongside Ashton Park Parade railway station. The station that was once here opened in 1845 as Ashton Railway Station, it was renamed in 1862 Ashton Park Parade before closing in November 1956.
It served the local community travelling to far flung Stalybridge, Dukinfield Central Station, Guide Bridge and Manchester. The Station entrance was at the end of Warrington Street Ashton under Lyne, with the opposite platform overlooking Lower Wharf Street. In this case you will no longer find a Station, but this is one of the hidden pathways of Ashton under Lyne that could lead you to a pleasant pint of ale.
Hidden Pathways of Ashton under Lyne Turner Lane
The final words on the hidden pathways of Ashton under Lyne takes us out of the town centre towards Charlestown Station. In the modern era the only railway station in Ashton under Lyne where there were once three. Once you have located the railway station there are twin iron bridges spanning what is Turner Lane, take a walk up the hill. This will bring you to our building here in Ashton under Lyne the home of Besseges (Valves, Tubes & Fittings) Ltd and valvestubesfittings.com. Pass us by unless of course you need to visit our trade counter and continue passed James Howe Mill. Turner Lane is to the left of the car park in the middle of the road here.
Once you have walked beyond our business, Charlestown Nursery is to the right and residential properties to the left. Before the nursery is an office building, before this was built, terrace houses stood here. One being the home of the serial killer Mary Ann Britland, who was hung in Strangeways for the murder of three people; two of them being her daughter and husband. Mary Ann’s story can be found in a previous Blog from the keyboard that is writing this piece. Her story tells us that the hidden paths of Ashton under Lyne have some gruesome facts on locals who have been infamous across the centuries.
At the top of Turner Lane the road bends around sharply to the left and if you look to your right, the next path is in front of you. A Crab Apple tree sits alone with six terraces to the right and an open grass expanse to the left. Walk past and to the left and follow the bicycle gate onto what was the Park Bridge Railway line. This path leads to Park Bridge and beyond, it also leads to an important part of the area’s local history. A place where a Thomas Newcomen Engine toiled for nearly a century, a steam engine that is now an exhibition piece in a Michigan museum.
But before you arrive at Park Bridge there is plenty more to see, visit the track at dusk and between the first and second bridges you will hear the screech of Owls from the trees above. Visit in a morning and stop just beyond the second Bridge to watch a pair of Grey Squirrels hanging and running up and down the two trees to your right. Next follow the slope down in front and continue this delightful path, to the right and left are some of the local residents of Aston under Lyne.
Their houses overlooking what they often take for granted, a slice of nature in the heart of the urban sprawl. The track continues and if observant, people will see that some residents have encroached onto the space; they are supposed to share with the rest of us. New fences have appeared extending gardens and property boundaries, trees have been cut down. Leaving the greenery looking scarred and uncared for because of the greed of people who always want more. The individuals that do this are anonymous to the rest of us, we don’t know them or why they feel they have a right to our common ground. My hope is that someone will identify them and force the return and restoration of their folly and greed.
Hidden Pathways of Ashton under Lyne Hidden Valley
Although I referred to the track as common ground, it is in fact owned still by the railways, although I can’t see it ever being returned to its former use. Continuing on the track the next milestone is a large gate with another bicycle gate and a horse trough; as this is also a bridal path. Pass through this and continue on until another junction is reached, to the left the path leads back to the residential and to the right a narrow track follows the line of houses and a steep slope. This route is another one of the hidden paths of Ashton under Lyne. It is worth noting that there is a steep slope to the right and a reasonably steep incline to follow shortly.
But if you choose to follow this path it will not be disappointing, the valley it leads into is lightly trodden. The path is not difficult in my opinion, but it is not as maintained as it could be; but be brave and continue this lovely walk. Follow the route bending around to the left and you could be in a woodland anywhere, the birds singing and the breeze whispering through the trees. The path winds around to the left, passing two tarmacked alley ways leading to the nearest houses. After this the path downhill opens out to reveal the valley below and a small wooden bridge.
Continuing across the bridge which crosses a small stream will take you to several forks in the trail. Allowing access to this hidden valley, be there at the right time of year and find carpets of Bluebells all around. The main path is directly in front and leads up the other side till eventually you arrive at a small stile; that once crossed take you to open fields. Be aware this is open farmland with public access, so please be respectful of the environment around you. For the dog walker the fields give space and freedom for the energetic breeds or sometimes a bit of a jungle for those dogs of shorter stature.
Hidden Pathways of Ashton under Lyne Chasing Squirrels
Our dog is a 26Kg cattle collie who loves to bound around the open spaces for no other reason than the joy of being alive. He loves this walk whether it is darting around open fields or as he is often doing chasing squirrels. A futile endeavour as they just dart up a tree and then mock him from the branches, his barking and yelping appearing to be a great source of amusement to them. To finish this particular walk, traversing the field to the left hand side will return to the track that follows the once busy railway line. Turn left to return to Ashton under Lyne town centre or turn right to Park Bridge and to find your own hidden pathways of Ashton under Lyne.
There are many such pathways and we have shared only a few of them in this Blog. As with all our written work on both of our Websites, the intention is to promote our business to the wider world. But by supporting the community we share here in Ashton under Lyne; we give something back to the community that also supports our business.
What you have to remember about the places we live in, is not to take them for granted. Everywhere has somewhere to explore, that many have not even realised exist. This piece and the hidden pathways of Ashton under Lyne could apply wherever you live. It is worth the effort to explore and then tell others of what you have found; in doing this it also creates the opportunity for exercise and a healthier lifestyle. Feedback on this or any of our Blogs is gratefully received, for more information on our business. Contact our sales team, explore our Website or arrange an appointment with our business development manager or technical sales manager. 0161343 2225.
Thank you as always to the Tameside Image Archive who have provided so many excllent images for our community Blogs.