Deep in the woods, above Fernilee Reservoir
We found a plum tree,
Which is a little unusual, this isn’t a fruit growing sort of area, Mr Uhdd thought it must have ‘escaped from a garden’, I was sceptical, but was I forgetting that this area was not always woodland it is now (it was once the home to a farming community, not to mention a paint mill, gunpowder works and a coal mine.)
Mr Uhdd was right, as nearby were the remains of a cottage (now no more than a pile of moss covered rocks) but even more interesting than that (and you know how interested I am, in piles of moss covered rocks) was the remains of what must have once been the cottages midden, its rubbish heap. It was an earth mound against a drystone wall, but a couple of yards of wall had recently collapsed, exposing the mound to the the wind and the rain, washing away the leaf litter and earth, exposing what remains. There were boots, rising up out of the ground;
lots of boots, including hobnailed boots
The Errwood estate that the owned and farmed this area, belonged to the Grimshaw family, the estate was broken up in the 1930’s allowing the reservoir to be built, this would have been one of many homes and farmsteads, that were demolished at the time (to avoid the risk of pollution to reservoir which was built to provide drinking water to the town of Stockport, as it does to this day.)
There was also a lot of broken glass and crockery, other curious souls had lined the bits and pieces up along the top of the wall, Spud thought it was wonderful and was in and amongst it before we could grab him by the scruff,
charging around like a sniffer dog, we feared for his paws! As far as spud is concerned, boots ripen like Cheddar cheese and fine wine, the older the better and he grabbed what he considered to be a tasty piece, which we removed and returned from whence it came.
But why so many boots? Surely the working man, from the 1930’s or earlier, would have been lucky to have owned more than one pair of boots (maybe a best pair for church on Sunday?) My theory is that they would have been chucked on the midden as the family left their home and that is why they are at the top: the move forcing a ‘good clear out’; maybe the family had been blessed with strapping young lads and they are their old work boots? Who knows?
(It’s looks like these boots were discarded, although boots (along with cats) are sometimes found concealed within old houses)