Staffordshire landscape

Black lion pub at Consall Forge

I wanted to show you a part of the Staffordshire Moorlands that we visited today. Consall Forge once was an industrial landscape and is part of the industrial archaeology of the area. Sitting in an isolated valley it was connected by a narrow gauge railway between Leek and Froghall Wharf. The Consall Forge was about half way along the valley. We have ridden on the preserved railway several times, but I have never found out about its history before. I have seen old lime kilns there but didn’t know their origins. I think the lime was used in the pottery industry and I think there may be a pottery there?

GOOGLE SAYS: Consall Forge kilns. At Consall Forge against the canalised River Churnet stands a bank of four large limekilns. These date from the early nineteenth century and were linked to the North Stafford Railway, a plateway built between 1815 and 1819, running from the Caldon Canal to north of Caverswall.

The valley continues to Froghall Wharf where there is a station for the railway with a good tea room and station shop. The line passes through the ruins of a copper factory which is possibly going to be developed. This makes Froghall much less picturesque than either Cheddleton, where the Churnet Valley Railway starts and Consall Forge which is where we were. The Cauldon canal was used for transporting coal from Froghall Wharf to Uttoxeter but was closed after losing money because of its rural location. It opened in 1811 and closed in 1849.

There is also a nature reserve at Consall. You can get there along narrow country lanes, along the railway or along the canal or its towpath.

picnic time

Nothing nicer when you are travelling to stop off for a break. In this case we were on our way down to Falmouth and stopped off at Tewkesbury Abbey. My friend who runs Ivans_uk_tours.com provided a picnic hamper full of goodies. I want to go on another trip like this. Its great not to have the responsibility of a long drive and to have an itinerary sorted out by us but undertaken by someone else. I kept saying it was like having a butler!

Three hectic days!

Three day trip to Falmouth in Cornwall and back with ivans_uk_tours.com . We stayed at a lovely hotel. Travelling through the West of England on the way down, through Ludlow and stopng off for a picnic at Tintern Abbey. We went over one of the bridges over the river Severn. We arrived at the hotel in the evening and went off to find food at a pub called the Red lion. After that we walked back to the hotel over stone stiles through farm fields.

Day two was up at the Penryn Campus at Falmouth University. I was graduating so we joined in the celebrations with other students who were graduating in different aspects of the creative arts. The actress and comedian Dawn French is the Chancellor of the University and handed out a chocolate coin covered in gold foil out to each student. Later, I got to throw my cap and gown in the air with my fellow students. We left in the early afternoon to go in search of a cream tea. Instead we found a shop that would post out cream teas all over Britain. The ships figurehead was down a sloping alleyway that led down to the sea. We sat by the harbour and ate our scones with jam and cream (jam first!). A lovely meal at the hotel and then a hot and sleepless night as the temperature continued to soar.

On the final day it had cooled down, but even though I would have stayed an extra day it was not possible because of the cost. We decided to call at Bovisand Bay near Plymouth in Devon on the way home. We had a picnic there and a paddle (hubby swam). Then a steady drive back up the motoein increasing heat. We stopped off a few times. I’m sunburnt but happy. Very tired. I couldn’t really post much here as I didn’t have much Internet connection.