Reddish Vale is in the Tame Valley close to Reddish, Greater
Manchester, England. The centre of the vale is around the bottom of
Reddish Vale Road.
Reddish Vale Country Park is a country park managed
Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council. It covers
161 hectares in all and comprises some of the traditional Reddish
Reddish Vale Farm and the grazing land and Woodhall Fields,
about half a mile to the south. Part of it is a designated Local
2 Other activities
4 Recent threats
6 External links
The railway viaduct and former mill pond
Reddish Vale is mainly green space, comprising woodland, flat
riverside meadows, sloping fields used to graze horses and a golf
course. At the end of
Reddish Vale Road near grid reference SJ905935
is a small car park and a visitor centre housed in portable cabins. A
number of footpaths lead in all directions, with the more popular ones
following the line of the river, both up and downstream.
Highly visible from the visitor centre is the sixteen-arch brick
viaduct built in 1875 to carry the
Hope Valley Line
Hope Valley Line over the Tame
Valley. There is a legend that during construction a local witch
cursed the viaduct and anyone who counted the number of arches. A
railway line once led to
Reddish Junction at the
Brinnington (east) side of the viaduct. This line has been turned into
a public bridleway joining the two parts of the country park and forms
a section of the Trans Pennine Trail. The
Stockport to Stalybridge
Line forms part of the western boundary of the vale. A spur once ran
to the colliery at Denton. Its position is still visible in places
marked by a hedgerow that runs alongside Ross Lave Lane. Where the
line had to span Denton Brook an embankment was built using slag and
other waste from the mine. This slag was ignited by the hot summers of
1975 and 1976. It continued to smoulder and smoke for a number years
until the site was bulldozed and cleared in 1981. Train drivers called
the place 'smokey ridge', along the bottom of Denton Brook you can
still see the bricks used for the tunnel. Some locals refer to Ross
Lave Lane as 'piggy's alley' as there was once a pig farm on the
Denton side of the viaduct on the embankment above where Denton Brook
joins the River Tame. There was a plan at the end of the 18th century
Beat Bank Branch Canal to run across the vale, and some
sections were dug, but it was abandoned before completion.
Nearby are two mill ponds left over from industrial activity in the
vale. The ponds were fed from the river above a weir (destroyed in
floods in the 1960s,[dubious – discuss] all that remains is the
sluice gate) on the upstream side of the viaduct, and provided both
power and processing water to
Reddish Vale Print Works, a calico
printing works dating from before 1800. The works had ceased
printing by 1975, and have now been demolished and the land turned
into a butterfly park. The ponds are now used for angling, and attract
herons and a variety of ducks. Most of the race has been filled in,
but a short length carries Denton Brook down to the river. Denton
Brook (and a small tributary) marks the traditional boundary between
Reddish and Denton. The manorial corn mill (one of several to be known
Reddish Mill) was sited over the brook and was demolished in about
1860 when the ponds were extended.
The River Tame in the lower part of the park
Woodhall Fields form the southern or lower (with reference to the
river) part of the park. The weir here was used to feed the Portwood
Cut, dug in 1796, which ran to the
Portwood area of
powered a number of mills around the start of the 19th century.
Part of the fields were once a landfill site for fly ash; this has
proved to be a good growing medium for orchids.
The LNWR Royal Train travels over the
Reddish Vale Viaduct in 1905.
Whilst not really in the vale, at the northern end the late 16th
century Arden Hall or 'Cromwell's Castle' (where Oliver Cromwell
allegedly spent the night) and the 17th century Hyde
Hall overlook it and form part of the overall landscape. Both are
in private hands and not open to the public.
Reddish Vale Golf Club takes up a substantial area on both sides of
the river, but does not form part of the country park. The club house
was once a substantial private house in its own grounds.
Just above the visitor centre, on
Reddish Vale Road, is
Farm, with riding stables, meerkats and a children's farm. The
buildings and associated grazing were Stockton's Dairy Farm until
Trans Pennine Trail
Trans Pennine Trail and the Tame Valley Walk pass through the
There is now very little housing in the vale. There are 12 terraced
houses opposite the farm on the road leading down to the vale. At the
bottom of the road opposite the visitors centre is a large dwelling
known as Tame House. Tame House was once the offices for the Calico
print works. At the back of Tame House is a dirt track called
Riverview; there are kennels for racing greyhounds halfway down the
track. This was once the canteen for the workers at the print works.
Adjacent to the canteen was a large Victorian house but this was
demolished in the 1960s. Further along Riverview, where the track
meets the river, once stood two rows of terraced houses identical to
the ones opposite the farm. These were also demolished in the 1960s
after being declared 'slum dwellings'. The same fate may have befallen
the terraces opposite the farm if not for the intervention of two twin
brothers, John and Christopher Byrne, who removed the Compulsory
Purchase Orders put on them, and organised the installation of a
There were nine houses situated between the viaduct and the mill
ponds, built to house the workers constructing the viaduct. They were
later demolished for expansion of the reservoirs. On the opposite side
of the river to where
Strines Weir once was there were two houses
Strines Cottages which were farm dwellings. A recent
archaeological dig found the foundations of these structures. There
was a flour mill situated above Denton Brook not far from Mill Lane.
In later years it was used as a school and was known as 'the ark'
because of the flowing water visible through the gaps in the
floorboards. It appears that there has never been a church in the
Recent proposals to change the nature of the vale have been met with
robust opposition. In 1988, the government of the day asked the
Greater Manchester Residuary Body to sell off its holdings in the
area; 3,000 people, worried that it would be sold to developers,
gathered in the vale to protest. The land was acquired by
Stockport Council in 1995. They arrived as three contingents from
Reddish and South Reddish.
In 1990, a proposal to create an artificial ski slope at Woodhall
Fields was opposed by 7,000 signatories to a petition. The
opposition was led by the Tame Valley Defence Group supported by MP
Andrew Bennett and the
Reddish Reporter. The Defence Group had made
trips to the various ski slopes and supplied local people with reports
Sheffield Ski Slope. This proposal echoed an earlier proposal for a
snow dome which was opposed by South
Reddish Action Group, who were
later to merge with the Tame Valley Defence Group to protect the
In 1992, the golf club hoped to use part of the vale as landfill; the
plans did not come to fruition. This again was opposed by the Tame
Valley Defence Group who were strongly supported in this by the
Director of Public Health in Stockport.
^ a b "
Reddish Vale Country Park".
Stockport MBC. Retrieved
Reddish Vale". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 4
^ "Map of
Reddish Vale". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England.
Retrieved 4 August 2013.
^ a b c d e Cronin, Jill (2000). Images of England: Reddish. Stroud:
Tempus Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-1878-5.
^ Poster in the visitors' centre
^ Ordnance Survey; Jill Cronin (1994) . Old Ordnance Survey
Reddish and S W Denton. Gateshead: Alan Godfrey Maps.
^ Holden, Roger N (1977). Stott and Sons: architects of the Lancashire
cotton mills. Carnegie Publishing. pp. 11–12.
^ a b c Ashmore, Owen (1975). The Industrial Archaeology of Stockport.
Manchester: University of Manchester. ISBN 0-902637-17-7.
^ Downham, W A (1922). "Chapter XIII". In Astle, William (ed.).
Stockport Advertiser Centenary History of Stockport. Stockport: The
Stockport Advertiser. CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list (link)
^ Arrowsmith, Peter (1997). Stockport: a History. Stockport: Stockport
Metropolitan Borough Council. p. 130.
^ Pevsner, Nikolaus (1971). The Buildings of England: Cheshire.
Penguin. ISBN 0-14-071042-6.
^ Pevsner, Nikolaus; Edward Hubbard (1969). The Buildings of England:
South Lancashire. Penguin. ISBN 0-14-071036-1.
^ "RIDING CENTRE BID FOR FARM". Manchester Evening News. 6 July
Greater Manchester Residuary Body has got problems - at the
last count about 3,000 of them". Estates Gazette. Estates Gazette Ltd.
9 April 1988.
^ "Snowdome seeks to build an indoor ski-centre in Stockport".
Property Week. 20 October 1988. p. 5. Wolverhampton firm Snowdome
has had detailed talks with
Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council
about building a £15 million refrigerated centre on the former
Woodhall tip in Reddish.
Stockport ski centre plan hits rocky patch". Building Design.
Miller Freeman. 19 November 1988. p. 7. The dome would be 250m
long and 18m high. It is not even certain that the dome would get
planning permission because the site lies within Stockport's green
^ "Teeing off". Action Update. November 2002. Retrieved
Wikimedia Commons has media related to
Reddish Vale's Community Website Information About
Flora and Fauna, History and News.
Reddish Vale Country Park website
Map showing the boundaries of the country park
Coordinates: 53°26′18″N 2°8′32″W / 53.43833°N
2.14222°W / 53.43833; -2.14222
Areas and suburbs of Stockport