There are a lot more photos in my Flickr Prestbury Set
The following pages contain assorted visual musings on Prestbury and surrounding areas. A highly varied and atmospheric landscape is one of the most enthralling aspects of this part of Cheshire ranging from the open lowlands of Chelford to the dramatic wilderness of the Peak District. A veritable patchwork indeed, and all of it steeped in unique qualities of ancient rural folklore and early industrial era whimsy.
An East Cheshire Odyssey by Oliver Wood
The following pages also include details of the famous St Peter’s church which forms both the geographical and cultural hub of the Prestbury community, with its unique Norman chapel satellite (almost 1000 years old) StPeters is one of Cheshire’s most notable Norman artefacts and the largest parish church in the county.
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Prestbury high street | May 2023
Legh Arms Hanging Baskets | July 2013
An orton processed shot with other filter and texture treatments.
Trees & Fields – Autumn | October 2020
Prestbury village is well stocked with a fairly broad variety of trees and street trees, some of which can be considered important townscape features. Though we have lost a few really impressive trees in recent years including two huge horse chestnuts that dominated the setting around the Bridge Hotel entrance and New Road at the junction of Bollin Grove. Since then fortunately, there has been a lot of new planting which includes Holly Oaks and Cherry’s.
Parrots field has a nice collection of mature Scots pines and the churchyard is well stocked with a wide variety of both coniferous and deciduous trees including a very ancient English Yew and a giant Beech.
Ford House | April 2015
Ford House was a focal building on the village high street, it was used as a social and commercial facility for many years. The old building eventually fell into a state of disrepair and was ultimately abandoned and sold. A new residential development has since been built on the site and is mostly a sympathetic reproduction though much larger than the original building.
I documented much of the redevelopment in 2015 and below you can see a small selection of images from that time. Click for larger versions and follow other links for much more images of Ford House and many other aspects of the locality.
Prestbury is very well served by rail with frequent trains to Manchester and the south. Connections to London are easy to make and there are even some residents that commute to the capital on a frequent basis.
The line is the Stafford – Manchester branch of the West Coast mainline and along with its sister route to Crewe (through Chelford) is one of the oldest operating railways in Cheshire. It is an extremely busy route with a lot of fast traffic for London, the Midlands, South Coast and South West including hourly all-station stopping trains between Manchester and Stoke-on-Trent. The route is now operating at full capacity during daytime and is often used as a relief route for night-time freight when the Crewe line is closed for routine maintenance. This is an intensive mixture of intermodal (containers) to and from Trafford Europort, heavy aggregates from the Peak District quarries and long distance petrochemicals and industrial cargoes (metals) from the north east to the London area.
Hare Hill | June 2007
Hare Hill Gardens is an NT property close to Prestbury and Mottram St Andrew. It is one of my favourite local places. A large and secluded walled garden forms the centrepiece and it can at times feel very mysterious.
New Road into Bollin Grove | Oct 2013
Orton processed shot with artwork texture layers. Looking across the river to the cottages on New Road. The radical variation in the roofline is typical of Prestbury. The cottages along here were built at different times and some were modified to accommodate various activities such as weaving and other agrarian crafts. It is a reminder of the lively artisan community that was once a feature of the village.
Prestbury High Street | June 2006
St Peters Church in Snow
This photo was taken in early days of winter 2010, it was to become an
exceptionally cold ‘arctic’ season with up to two feet of snow in Prestbury. I liked the way that the snow in the foreground facilitated this unconventional composition.
Prestbury Priest’s House | June 2015
This picture is available on my Alamy stock site Alamy
Here is a photo of the old Nat West bank building or former Jacobean (or Tudor?) Priest’s House in the centre of Prestbury village. The old paving and cobbling throughout Prestbury is a very attractive and a notable feature. I think this is a good shot for illustrative purposes but not very happy with barrel distortion resulting from pointing a very wide angle lens toward the sky.
Prestbury Priest’s House | May 2009
The Stocks Revamped | Oct 2020
The old stocks recently refurbished in October 2020. This has been a bit of a tourist attraction over the years with people wanting to have pictures / selfies taken whilst appearing to be locked in.
The Old School House | June 2006
The building that is now home to the village branch of RBS, Bridgfords and a very small library was at one time a village school house. The twelve plates on the left hand side wall indicate Prestbury’s impressive track record as a winner of the ‘best kept village award’.
Butley Cottage | June 2006
Butley Cottage is just outside the Village centre and despite all of the problems with traffic, it still retains that unique rural Cheshire ambience evoking a sense of Prestbury’s quiet and remote past. The history of this building is quite well documented. John Swallow lived here for forty years and further historical information on Butley’s past can be found on his website.
White Nancy, Bollington | Aug 2004
White Nancy is perched on top of Kerridge Hill over looking Bollington and commands a spectacular 270-degree view across the Peak District and the Cheshire planes. This picture was taken on a very hot day, but it is so high up that even the sub stratospheric Sirius cloud appears quite low in the sky. It is a highly energised place, and fantastic after dark (if you are brave enough to be up there!) you can look down on the entire expanse of Macclesfield, Bollington, and Manchester in the far distance and all marked out as extraordinary pools of light. I have not yet seen a “black triangular UFO”, stalking “panther like” creatures, or encountered ritualistic neo-pagans but here’s hoping. You’re actually more likely to encounter a local tagging crew with bags of spray paint.
Rainow “Scarecrows” | July 2015
In July the village of Rainow in the foot hills of the Peak District and not far from Prestbury hosts a festival where everyone decorates houses, gardens, and verges, with curious mannequins. Some are set into thematic tableau’s, and others seem to represent situations from real life such as resting hill walkers and runners. The villagers’ refer to these meta humans as “scarecrows”.
Bridge Hotel | Oct 2005
This building was originally a farm dating from 1626, many of the other white buildings in the village date from the late 17th to mid 18th century. I think it was converted into a hotel in the 1950s but many of the original features still predominate inside.
New Road | December 2000
We had quite heavy snow falls and frosts during the Christmas week. The restaurant that used to be Thymes is now called The Watermark (the sign is rather over-exposed) it’s quite attractive and contemporary, but I have always thought that Thymes slightly bohemian cosy den-like feel suited that building very well, Geof Leigh Ford’s monkey
murals were quite amusing.