Thursday 14 July 2022


No navigation (well almost)

Not a lot of action this morning - we finally decided to order the parts for the fridge for delivery when we are back home. It is a sizeable gamble - a new fridge is around £1000 and the parts half that, so not cheap. If we found someone to repair it for us it would probably be about the same as new. Banking on doing it ourselves will save around £500 if we get it right but a tad expensive if we get it wrong. At least this way we do not have to worry about fitting the fridge back in as the door replacement should be possible with sliding the unit out just a little.

We also took the boat for a long cruise - from one side of the canal to the other! We wanted to do the usual empty and fill and we are moored directly opposite Spark Bridge customer service facility.

After lunch we opted to visit Liverpool Castle in Lever Park near Rivington, outside Chorley. The park was gifted by Lord Leverhulme (who made his money from soap) to the local people in 1909. He made sure that whatever happened the park would be available free of charge and in perpetuity whatever happened.

The park is to one side of the Lower Rivington reservoir that was opened in 1857 to supply water to the people of Liverpool (but now mainly to Wigan). It is part of a series of eight reservoirs and, after being owned by a series of local authorities, now belongs to United Utilities.

Liverpool Castle was created as a folly by Lord Leverhulme, intended as a scaled replica of the 13C structure that once stood in Liverpool 1 but which was almost totally destroyed by the 18C. The folly was started in 1912 and was little more than a hobby project to which a few labourers from the estate were allocated. It was not finished by the time its owner died in 1925. No more was done so it never reached the state that was originally envisaged.

There are narrow passages that lead nowhere and rooms that are roofless and barely larger than a cupboard. At least one set of stairs starts but ends a few treads above ground.

We suspect that Lord Leverhulme hoped that it would provide a pleasant place to relax with views across the reservoir but alas, little maintenance of the grounds is being done and scrubby bushes and trees have now over run the slope down to the water totally blocking the views.

It was about a 40 minute drive, passing through the centre of Chorley and a number of other villages. It took a bit of finding as the nearest access to the castle is a walk after leaving the car beside the country road. There are no signs. The information web site we looked before we set off simply told us that parking was available!

The walk was down a dead straight double avenue.

After spending some time poking around the 'ruins' we walked back the way we came, hoping to be in time for a cup of tea at the Great House Barn Tea Room just a short distance back along the road. We thought we were OK as we reached there just after 3:30 and it said it was open until 4 but it was clear that the staff were already packing up for the day. However, we were served by a very pleasant young man on a holiday job before college. Mike had an especially excellent scone and Christine a blueberry slice. We - and the only other two people left - were not hassled out and happily left to sit whilst clearing up was going on!

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