The stream with no name, part 4

2 Apr

The National Library of Scotland has an amazing map overlay featuring old maps which I’ve gone and had a nosey round in search of the elusive “Barn Brook”.  First up is the seamless zoomable overlay layer (1888-1913) of Pimhole.


The stream bears the legend “Barn Brook” – excellent!  So we’ve at least confirmed that this appears to be the name of the tributary.  There also appears to be a little more of the brook visible on this map as headed upstream there’s a slight kink to the west near the end of School Street.  Today this is the site of various scrapyards, with no visible sign of a brook from aerial photos.  But it does suggest that the stream may have made a turn to the west rather than headed north west as the crow flies.  Housing development has already started on the east side of Bury in the latter half of the nineteenth century, what would we be able to see on an even older map?


As luck would have it, we can try the individual sheets using a zoomable map of England and Wales which features an 1851 OS six-inch map of Lancashire.  With much less development having taken place, we can see the outline of the stream as it passes under the two roads to Rochdale under bridges I’m not familiar with.  Firstly, there’s Whitehead Bridge under the old Rochdale Road, now the A58.  The stream then heads north, through what appears to be the location of the old Bury bus depot (now a car showroom) to reappear in the area near Home Bargains, before passing under Bell Lane on the aptly named Barn Brook Bridge.

Wow. So can we trace the now missing Barn Brook back to its source?  And what about its equally mysterious tributaries, Green Brook and Gypsy Brook.  Some more digging tomorrow!

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