Woodhead, Cheshire

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Cheshire, Derbyshire
St James Church and Bleak House, Woodhead
Grid reference: SE103000
Location: 53°29’49"N, 1°50’46"W
Post town: Glossop
Postcode: SK13
Local Government
Council: High Peak
High Peak

Woodhead is a small and scattered settlement at the head of the Longdendale valley on the borders of Cheshire and Derbyshire. It lies on the trans-Pennine A628 road connecting Lancashire with Yorkshire, 19 miles from Manchester and 18 miles from Barnsley. It is close to the River Etherow, which forms the border between the two counties, and the Trans Pennine Trail.

Woodhead is the location of the western portals of the Woodhead Tunnels, three former railway tunnels on the electrified Woodhead Line between Manchester and Sheffield. There was formerly a railway station and signal box on the Derbyshire side, at the northernmost point of that county. The Woodhead railway line closed in 1981; the trackbed between Woodhead and Hadfield now forms the Longdendale Trail. The platforms are still intact, although the track has been removed.

Among the remains in the graveyard of St James Church, a small 18th-century chapel, are the unmarked graves of navvies who died during the construction of the tunnels. Adjoining the church is Bleak House, a Grade-II-listed 19th-century dwelling.[1] Two miles to the east, the Lady Cross marks the highest point of the former packhorse road from Longdendale to Rotherham. Only its base and the bottom of the shaft survive.[2]

The hamlet gives its name to Woodhead Reservoir, the highest in the Longdendale Chain of reservoirs.[3]

On 6 July 2014, Stage 2 of the 2014 Tour de France from York to Sheffield, passed through the hamlet.


("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Woodhead, Cheshire)
  1. National Heritage List 1334810: Bleak House and boundary wall and railings (Grade II listing)
  2. Sharpe, Neville T. (2002). Crosses of the Peak District. Landmark Collectors Library. ISBN 978-1843060444. 
  3. Quayle, Tom (2006). Manchester's Water: The Reservoirs in the Hills. Stroud: Tempus. p. 8. ISBN 0-7524-3198-6. 
Woodhead Bridge
Azure, a garb Or.svg
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