There are a few walks around the area set up by the Findern walking group. We decided to do one of these today. Hopefully I can give you an idea of the history of the area.
We started by leaving the marina under the tunnel. This is where the entrance for boats starts.
We then walked across alongside the wildlife pond, which was built in 2008 and attracts many species if birds and wildlife.
We then headed for the pedestrian canal bridge to take us over the Trent and Mersey canal.
The canal stretches 93 miles from Long Eaton to Runcorn. It was initially built to transport limestone, coal and bricks. Then used by the many breweries in Burton on Trent. The main proposer of the canal was the famous pottery manufacturer Josiah Wedgewood, and he chose the famous engineer James Brindley to build it. It was completed in 1777.
We carried on over the bridge and turning left continued along the towpath.
Potlocks farm is a former Boatmans pub which was frequented by the men and their horses. Whilst the men drank and the horses grazed in the fields, the women stayed on the boats to cook the evening meal!
Along the towpath there are many areas of interest.
Just past this is a ballast hole pond, which was dug to provide ballast for the adjoining railway in the 19th century, and later used by Willington power station to deposit ash from the burnt coal. It has now been developed into a picnic area.
We carried on till bridge no 20, then crossed to the other side of the canal. We hadn’t explored this bit before. Walking under a tunnel which is along a bridleway, so note the mounting blocks which are at either end, as a horse and rider wouldn’t get through it without dismounting.
Carrying along there are more areas developed for birds and wildlife.
After a short walk through the adjoining countryside we arrived at Findern. Named after the Fynderne family who were the original landowners in the 15th and 16th centuries. It is believed that a flower was brought back from the crusades, by The Lord of the manor. This is a daffodil called Poets daffodil and is the only place in the UK where it is found.
The village is the place where Jedediah Strutt held his first job. From the he became one of the most famous cotton spinners of the 1700’s, and built the first factory in the world with Richard Arkwright, marking the start of the industrial revolution.
The path through the village then took us back along the road and over the A50 back to the marina. This took us 1hr 45mins in a biting wind!