Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Leek to Cheddleton

We need to rewind a bit.  With all the excitement of posting about that tunnel, we've missed out some of the journey.

After spending some time at the market and looking round the town on Saturday we were ready to leave the moorings at Leek around lunchtime.  The thin ice was almost melted in the warm sunshine we had been enjoying.
Just emerging out of the tunnel, very narrow but with plenty of headroom, so no scrapes and bumps here.
 The reflections were lovely today in the still waters.
And so many great places to live with views over the canal.
This lovely lock cottage at Hazelhurst locks has wonderful views in every direction.  The lucky owners were sitting out in the sunshine eating their lunch.  What a great spot.
I had got off Tacet at the aqudeuct and walked down from the Leek branch to the lower level of the Caldon Canal, walking up the locks, setting them as I went, to meet Ian at the top. He was just coming through bridge 1 as I got there.

making the tight turn into the lock
3 locks down

then under the aqueduct this time

 Before long we were at Cheddleton mooring up by the Flint Mill.

Cheddleton Flint Mill has a complex of buildings, two water mills, a miller's cottage, two flint kilns, a drying kiln and other outbuildings. It has grade II listed building status and is managed by the Flint Mill Industrial Heritage Trust.

The earliest reference to milling here at Cheddleton dates back to 1253, some of the foundations of the south water mill may date from then. Other documents refer to corn milling on this site, and in the late 18th century the south mill was converted to grind flint, and the north mill was purpose built for flint grinding.

The Canal was built around the same time and would have carried the heavy flint stone to the mill and the ground, calcined flint produced would be taken back to the potteries of Stoke where it was an important ingredient in the 'creamware' which was popular at the time. 
crane for loading/unloading the boats

miller's cottage

Leek - Cheddleton
4.5 miles, 3 locks, 1 tunnel


  1. The reflections are very clear!

    Cheddleton flint mill looks an interesting place. I confess, I'd never heard of it - perhaps a tad too far from home for an easy day out.

  2. Just a point of clarification: I believe the calcination of the flint took place in lime kilns. As I understand it, what took place at Cheddleton was just the grinding of the flint.

  3. We didn't get a proper tour round but there are kilns here too, which were used for the calcination process.
    On our way back there was some activity on the site, a water wheel turning and the doors open. By the time we had moored up and gone back all was stopped and 'the man' was locking the door. He had been doing some maintenance. Perhaps one day we will get a proper look round.