Cheadle Bleach works
Jowetts owned the corn mill on Mill Lane which was built on the banks of the Micker Brook which provided the water power, via a water wheel, to grind the corn. The land later became the bleach works producing soap, detergents and chemicals for the cotton finishing industry. Other names for the Bleach Works were Standard Chemical Works or Horsefield Brothers Ltd. The Council built the chimneys at each mill as compensation for them having to use steam power and local people called them The Compensation Chimneys.
Cheadle Bleach Works has now been demolished and housing is being built, called, appropriately, the Bleach Works. The Chimney is still there (2010)
** If you wish to detour to look at Barnes Hospital you will need to follow Detour A printed at the end of this trail. (2010)
Please note: Barnes Hospital is now a housing development consisting of 156 new homes. 39 of these will be conversion apartments and new-build townhouses, constructed within and around the listed former Barnes Hospital building itself. In addition, in the spacious grounds surrounding the Hospital will be 117 new-build, two, three and four bedroom family homes. It may not be possible to use this route.
You could look at the small weir at the start of the path to Barnes Hospital if you wish before continuing along Brook Road.
To continue the walk or to return to the walk after the detour to Barnes Hospital.
Take the path on the left of Mill Lane before the new Bleach Works housing development and walk along with the Micker Brook on your right.
After a short distance, a track runs off to the right towards the brook. if you go down this you can see the larger weir quite clearly. On the other side of the brook, behind the banking, was the reservoir used by the mill.
In Bolton's book "The Changing Functions of the Village of Cheadle" he says that the silk mill stood on the banks of the stream behind St Mary's Church. The mill was water powered. The building housing the mill was 14 yards long and 7 yards wide and stood four storeys high. two of the rooms housed throwing machines and another had winding machines and another doubling machine.
On the left just before the railway bridge was the site of Holcroft or Hallcroft House, a low Georgian building where one of Cheadle's doctors lived with his wife and family.
You can see the brick foundations of what was possibly a wall, with a brick pillar at one end which has a gate fixing at the top.
The green metal railings all along the left side of the path were erected by the Alexandra Hospital to mark their boundary. There had been a challenge by the Cheadle Civic Society that this land was public open space but unfortunately, the decision was made that the land was private and the railings were put up.
**The path continues under the railway bridge and comes out onto Brook Road, near the Drill Hall.