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Hill Cliffe. Help please?


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Hello I live near the "rock cutting" in Hill Cliffe Appleton. I know, from reading some of the previous forum posts, that some of you think this is a creepy place. It is not. Infact there is a lot of interesting and unrecorded history associated with this area and I am part way through researching and recording this. I know about the resurectionists and history of Bellefields and Hill Cliffe burial ground. I have also spoken to and recorded the memories of some of the older local residents but I wonder if any of you may be able to give me pointers to any other items of interest concerning this area? My intention is to publish this as some sort of pamphlet/booklet with any profits going to local charities and any losses coming from my pocket (perhaps Gary will give me a discount for printing it?). Seriously any help, at all, would be very much appreciated. 

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Welcome to the forum/madhouse. the only contact i ever had with hill cliff was when i was a lot younger when me and my mate would often go up there to hang about and watch the odd thunderstorm.


i would think that a few of our regulars can come up with some tales of the area or suggest lines of research and links to same.


when you do get it finished i for one would be looking to acquire a copy.


all the best in your endeavour.

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Welcome Rockcutting, you possibly know more about Hill Cliffe's history than anyone on here, however that will not prevent us from 'digging' around, as you are probably aware we are a nosey bunch on here. Just to start you off here are five early photos of the area, you may have seen them you may not, you are more than welcome to use them as far as I'm concerned, as I'm sure they will be well out of copyright, however that is your descision to make!.


Click each photo to increase the size.


'Windmill Lane'.



'The Cottages'.




'The Cutting'.



The steps to the graveyard.




The Cutting, 'Turnpike Leap'.


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  Probably not much use, but by the left of the entrance to the cemetery on the high point, i believe it was used as a part of a chain of beacons across the country.  The occasion  has lapsed from my memory. (seventies probably).


Even more useless, is that we used to go from top to bottom on cycles sans brakes.  Makes me shiver now when i think about it - but there were plenty of cobblers in those days.


happy days

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Thank you all. This is very useful.

I am not sure, however, about the photograph of the steps to HillCliffe burial ground.

I can't imagine where they may have been.

I will show this to the old farmer here and ask him if he knows better than me.

He usually does!

Please let me know if any of you are able to think of anything else about this small area.

I am very grateful to you all for your help.

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Hiya Rockcutting and welcome to the forum :)


Firstly, if you do print your booklet about the history of rock cutting and area I will definately buy a copy too.


You've probably already seen my other posts where I mention that I still find the cutting a creepy place (blame my mum and dad for that one) but I'd love to know more about it and the area.  Maybe I'd go through it again then :lol:


Algy has beaten me to it  re the grave yard steps (as is normal for him as he's too good at this) as I've just been having a look at more modern maps and photos compared with the old photo and my guess was that the steps would have been just by the first pedestrian pavement sandstone lined slope as you go up Red Lane before the church on the right (sort of where the last semi house is now on the right as you go up the road).  By my reconing the church would have just been out of shot of the steps on the left.


I'm sure Algy will correct me though if it was the next slope, wont you Algy (my tutor)  :) 


Ps the pics of the cutting have given me goosebumps again but I'll have a search and also ask some of the oldies around here to see if the know any more about the area as we are not far from there.

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Dizz, are you not following this post, I posted a 1907 map of Red Lane clearly showing the steps on the north end of the chapel. You must be extremely bust as you haven't replied to the Moore nature Reserve reply I put on for you. :rolleyes:

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Hiya Algy.... only saw this topic earlier and was searching for info... then saw your later map of the steps.... which was why I said you had beat me to it  (as usual) :wink:


As for being completely 'bust' well yes that sort of sums me up at the moment as not enough hours in the day  :blink: I did read your Moore reply (as I read all posts every day) and I meant to reply but then time went by in a flash again and didn't get around to posting a reply.   Sorry x 


Anyway  back to the creepy 'witches' cutting at Hill Cliffe   :unsure:

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Hope this works, I've searched the British newspaper database and come up with a handful of articles about Hill cliffe. There's some stuff about a magistrate called Marston, some about the antiquity of the chapel and probably the most interesting is an article written in 1903 which has a paragraph about the history of Hill Cliffe. The original article is much longer but this is the only mention of Hill Cliffe. 


Hope this is of some interest. 



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I am very grateful to you all for this wonderful information.

The rock cutting in Firs Lane was cut to make access to Belfields Farm easier, the original farm track is now the footpath across the golf course from London Road but the stone was also used in local buildings.

How could anyone think of this magical and mysterious place as being creepy?

My nephews, when they were younger, always used to tell me that we were cowboys passing through a gorge and that the indians were firing arrows at us from up above.

I've not been able to confirm this as historical fact, as yet, but I'll keep on looking!

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Richard Curtis - the writer, used to live in a big house called Merrifield on Windmill Lane; or rather his mum and dad did.... they lived there when his dad was the chairman of Crosfields....that's the only bit of info I know about that area!!

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RC, here are a number of Bills/invoices for work carried out by persons living at at Hill Cliffe or work done at in that area also Bellfields farm. You are correct in saying that the cuting was made to make easier access to Bellfields as prior to it being made it was a difficult journey over the top of the hill, I have read that somewhere but for the life of me I can't remember where.



















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Hello Algy and all,

these documents and photos are all really fascinating but I am not sure how they may be used.

Most of the photographs seem to be copyrighted by Warrington Museum and I would really like to put the documents in context.

All of your research is of very great interest.

Would it be possible for us to meet at some time in the not too distant future to discuss all of this?

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Was wondering how a museum could copyright photos donated to said museum so googled and found this:-
 The data below will let you know when you can safely use a piece of art or music without permission because it is now in public domain after copyright protection expiration, or how long the copyright protection will last.
•Published before 1923 - now in public domain

•Published from 1923 to 1963 - When published with a copyright notice © or "Copyright [dates] by [author/owner]" - copyright protection lasts 28 years and could be renewed for an additional 67 years for a total of 95 years. If not renewed, now in public domain.

•Published from 1923 to 1963 - When published with no notice - now in public domain

•Published from 1964 to 1977 - When published with notice - copyright protection lasts 28 years for first term; automatic extension of 67 years for second term for a total of 95 years.

•Created before 1/1/1978 but not published - copyright notice is irrelevant - copyright protection lasts for the life of author and 70 years or 12/31/2002, whichever is greater

•Created before 1/1/1978 and published between 1/1/1978 and 12/31/2002 - notice is irrelevant - copyright protecion lasts the life of author and 70 years or 12/31/2047, whichever is greater

•Created 1/1/1978 or after - When work is fixed in tangible medium of expression - notice is irrelevant - copyright protecion lasts for the life of author and 70 years based on the the longest living author if jointly created or if work of corporate authorship, works for hire, or anonymous and pseudonymous works, the shorter of 95 years from publication, or 120 years from creation.


It is the author of any work that copyrights the work. The pictures posted by Algy would have passed their copyright by now and so should be classed as public domain.

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