First village on the River Trent
Research on the Trent has shown a number of fascinating facts about its history...... Read More
Biddulph Moore | Trent Head Well
The Trent, its origins on Biddulph Moor, carves its way through the landscape of rolling hills we know as ' Trent Valley'. The Trent Head Well, circa 1935 is nothing more than a trickling outlet, pictured on the right. A growing stream journeys down through the 'lush green' picturesque Trent Valley into Knypersley Reservoir.
During research of the Trent I came across a curious account from Samuel Erdeswicke in his Study of Staffordshire.
Samuel claims that the Trent travels from Biddulph Moor and passes through Stanley before it travels to Norton Green.
Maybe then the boundaries were very different and he mistook a tributary spring or brooke to be the Trent.
Further research is in progress...
Knypersley Reservoir 1805
Built in 1805, Knypersley Reservoir lies close to the Trent and acts as a feeder to the Cauldon Canal constructed in 1779.
After leaving Knypersley reservoir the Trent takes its real first form as a river, although still in its infancy it merrily dances off in a southerly direction heading for the many small villages, major towns and cities that adopt it as their own.
On this first stretch of its journey we head towards Tongue Lane, where its banks are shaded by a continuous line of Alder, there heavy canopy cast a cloak over the River creating many dark areas where Brown Trout like to hide from the silent stalking Grey Heron.
Along this stretch a dark menace also hunts the waters, killing and decimating many of our indigenous species, the North American Mink can often be seen slinking from bank to bank on the trail of its next meal. The impact of the Mink on this stretch of the Trent is most notable by the rapid decline of the Water Vole whose empty and redundant holes line the banks of the Trent, but act as a reminder of there presence upon the river.
Water Voles were once a common site along this stretch and the giveaway ‘plop’ as they entered the water is now but as distant memory for those of us who were lucky enough to hear and observe these wonderful creatures.
The river seems to keep this same form as it now heads for Woodhouse Lane, but here it encounters an intruder to its waters of a very different type. It seems like moths to a light that fly tippers are attracted to this little bridge at Woodhouse Lane to launch there unwanted waste, tyres and goodness knows what into the clear water below.
Not only does this show an utter disregard for our natural environment and directly impacts upon the rivers wildlife, it also causes many blockages along the river which in times of heavy rain contribute to the problem of residential flooding.
Norton Green Village
From here for around two fields the river carries this stain before it shrugs it off and heads towards its first village – our village – Norton Green.
A few more twists and turns later, passing through ‘Jane’s Meadow’ and then ‘Iron’s Meadow’ and the Trent enters the village through the twin arches of a delightful stone bridge, whilst Endon Road (B5051) rumbles overhead.
Here the river cuts through the heart of the village and separates the older part of the village on its western side with the later properties lying on its eastern banks. Although this division has no relevance today it once had parochial implications as living on the eastern side of the river you were expected to be married at St Anne’s at Brown Edge, but if you lived on the western side, St Bartholomew’s at Norton In The Moors was your expected choice.
100 yards later and the river passes beneath Ball Lane and rap’s itself around the aptly named ‘Trent Terrace’. The water here for the majority of the year is very shallow and slow running, but occasionally in times of flash flooding things take a turn for the worst and the Trent can show a hidden power that threatens properties lying at the bottom of the valley.
It is worth mentioning at this time that the Trent is colloquially known as the ‘Brook’ in our village, adding testimony to this is the fact that the above mentioned Trent Terrace was firstly called ‘Brook Terrace’
With a whip of it’s tail the river soon leaves our village behind and heads off through a field called ‘Cow Hayes’ and cuts beneath the Caldon Canal at Heakley. Here again the Mink can frequently be seen hunting and occasionally the fiery flash of the Kingfisher can be spotted. From here the landscape changes giving banks of the river a more open aspect.
Twisting and turning its way through Heakley Marshes it soon picks up a travelling companion, as the Caldon Canal runs parallel with the Trent for a few miles.
The two then head off through Milton, Abbey Hulton and Birches Head on there adventure into the first major City of Stoke On Trent, which of course the Trent lends it’s name for the first time on it’s journey.top