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Exert from Albert Inghams 1896 book.

Altrincham, Bowden, Sale & Ashton on Mersey.

A vigorous stride across the country brings us to Carrington Moss, and it is very amusing to read in this connection the quaintly droll description given by Mr. Leo H. Grindon, in that notable and delightful work, “Manchester Walks and Wild Flowers.” He says, “Should any of our unknown companions in these rambles be vegetarians, they will please here take notice that Carrington Moss in the summer time is a scene of ravenous slaughter, such as cannot but be exceedingly painful and shocking to them. It will appear the more repulsive from the high character for innocence ordinarily borne by the destroyers, who are the last beings in the world we should expect to find indulging in personal cruelty, much less acting the art of perfidious sirens. Having given this warning, our friends will of course have only themselves to blame should they persist in following us to the spectacle we are about to describe ; and now it only remains to say that the perpetrators of the deeds alluded to are plants.”Then we are treated to a description of the Sarracenias, and the Droseraceae or Sundews ; the pea green Sphagnum, in the little marshes ; the Lancashire Asphodel, which grows very profusely; the Ehyncospora Alba, the Cranberry, the Andromeda, and the Cotton Sedge, all in great abundance, with luxuriant grasses peculiar to moorlands, and the finest specimens of purple heather to be seen within so short a distance from Manchester. Owing to its acquirement by the Manchester Corporation, the Moss is being rapidly brought into cultivation, and while the advance of population has its drawbacks, yet the borders of the Moss and the lanes approaching it are prolific in curious plants. ” July,” says Mr. Grindon, ” is the best time. Then the foxgloves lift their magnificent crimson spires, and the purple tufted vetch trails its light foliage and delicate clusters beneath the woodbines ; and the tall bright lotus in coronets of gold, and the meadow- sweet, smelling like hawthorn, make the lady fern look its greenest, while in the fields alongside stands, in all its pride of yellow and violet, the great parti-coloured dead nettle, which here grows in luxuriant perfection. All the lanes leading to Carrington Moss are remarkably rich in wild flowers and ferns, the latter including the Royal fern or Osmunda, and in early summer show great plenty of the white lychnis, called, from not opening its petals till evening, ” the vespertina.” The pink- eyed lychnis, or ” Brid e’en,” or Bird’s eye of our country friends, is always open. There is also abundance of blackberries, wild raspberries, &c., and nature’s gifts are everywhere found in great profusion and beauty.

Neil Munro – Facebook post 1st May 2020 It is surprising how the railways played such an important part in the development of Carrington Moss as we see it today. The moss was purchased by Manchester Corporation and drained. It was developed into an area for dumping the increasing amount of waste from a growing Manchester. They created the farmland we see today. A number of the main raised roadways criss crossing the moss were used to bring in night waste from Manchester to unloading facilities near where the power station is located. At first this was by river navigation then by the Manchester Ship Canal when this was built. Trains would then traverse the network distributing the waste.

Neil Munro – Facebook post 1st May 2020 There are also interesting map sites including Rail Map Online (best viewed on a PC or laptop). You can turn map layers in and off to show particular features.

Another useful site is the National Library of Scotland website which allows you to search and compare historical maps going back to the 1800s. These may be viewed, superimposed over modern maps or satellite image. You can also have two maps of same area, from different years side by side and be able to move around them and zoom in and compare them. A warning though, once you get into it you may be hooked and time will fly past.