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(ORIGINAL DATE OF THIS ENTRY 04/02/2012)
by Dave Roberts
UPDATE: Below is the original text of this Diary entry, full of surmise, conjecture and theory, which I have, as is usual on these occasions, left intact to illustrate once more how the Middlewich Diary works, drawing in further theories, conjecture, surmise and, ultimately, information.
It appears that Croxton Flint Mill was the reason for the existence of 'Croxton Water Fall' in the first place,
The 'water fall' is still there, but in a ruined state - was it damaged by flooding, or just allowed to fall into rack and ruin?
And is the building in the background of our photo the original Croxton Hall Farm? What happened to that? Why was it demolished?
There appears to be no trace whatsoever of this building left in the present day.
All contributions, as ever, gratefully received.
CROXTON WATER FALL
Here's an intriguing one. Where is, or was, Croxton Water Fall?
Our usual first resort, Google, reveals nothing (although it does reveal just how many places there are called 'Croxton' all over the world) and I have to confess to never having heard of Croxton Water Fall before.
Neither do I recall ever having seen this picture, until it turned up as part of the Paul Hough Collection recently (It does, in fact, appear in Middlewich by Brian Curzon and Paul Hurley - see Update, below - so must be a reasonably well-known Middlewich photo)
The fact that we are looking at a commercial post card seems to suggest that the area was quite well known as a local beauty spot.
Croxton itself, by which we mean the area around Croxton Lane, is an area where waters meet.
The Rivers Dane, Wheelock and Croco all come together close to where the narrow Croxton Aqueduct on the Trent & Mersey Canal stands.
So which of them was able to boast such an impressive water fall?
We can, of course, rule out the poor old River Croco. We're well acquainted with its course through the town, certainly from Brooks Lane down to its meeting with the Dane at the edge of Harbutt's Field.
It's a narrow and shallow river and, though it does have quite abrupt changes in level in its journey through town, can boast nothing on this scale.
The Wheelock too, which meanders into Middlewich near Nantwich Road and takes a leisurely course along the outskirts of the town heading for Chester Road and its own meeting with the Dane, is rather a small scale river, nothing like as wide as the river (if it is a river) shown here.
That rather grand house in the background, though, is rather suggestive of Chester Road, somehow.
Could Croxton Water Fall be somewhere along that stretch of the River between the Shropshire Union aqueduct and Chester Road, hidden by all those trees which Mr Boosey planted before the First World War and which have been growing wild ever since (see this entry)?
Is the River Wheelock wide enough at any point along that stretch for this water fall to be a part of it?
And could that part of Middlewich be legitimately described as 'Croxton', anyway?
Which leaves us with the River Dane itself.
That river, within the town boundary (in fact, to the north of Middlewich, the course of the river actually is the town boundary), flows mostly through low-lying pasture land and the only large house I know of anywhere near its banks is Ravenscroft Hall, which is not the house seen here.
The weir certainly looks very much as if it could be man made, particularly with that retaining wall on the left.
Maybe Croxton Water Fall is another one of those mysterious gaps in my Middlewich education (like the aptly named 'Mystery Wood') and everyone will be amazed at my lack of knowledge of it.
I have a feeling that the house in the background is the key to this one.
Is it the original Croxton Hall Farm?
Andy Kendrick On the River Dane to your right as you go over the bridge on Croxton Lane. Years ago, when we swam there, the water had a salty taste. We weren't drinking it though...
Dave Roberts What's the big house in the background?
Geraldine Williams Croxton Hall Farm
Dave Roberts Wow! There you go - another gap in my education. I must get down there (when the weather improves, of course) to get a modern day shot for comparison.
Liza Cornall Not sure it is there. The height of the water is nowhere near...even when I was a kid swimming in the river, it wasn't that steep, I'm sure. Unless the river is now much higher than in the pic?
Dave Roberts I'm not sure either, Liza. The picture was taken a very long time ago (probably early 20th century) and so the area must have changed considerably. As I said before, I think a trip down to Croxton Lane with the camera is a must.
Geraldine Williams Zoom in on the satellite map of Croxton Lane and the waterfall shows up well.