Partly for the walk and partly because of John Middleton - the giant!
Situated across the road from the church there had been a large Beech tree trunk which, in 1996 was carved with representations of John Middleton, Hale Lighthouse and other local symbols, by sculptor Philip Bews in 1996.
Sadly on our last visit, due to disease and in the interests of public safety the tree trunk had been removed by Halton Borough Council. Chris and I didn't know that when we took her sister and husband for the walk.
Today we discovered that in April 2013, the wooden sculpture has been replaced by a bronze statue 3 m tall by local sculptor, Diane Gorvin.
John Middleton (1578–1623)
...was an English giant commonly known as the Childe of Hale. Most of what is known about him is based on oral tradition and legends. Legend tells that he slept with his feet out of the window of his small house. Tales also credit him with great strength.
The URL for todays 4.1726 miles walk is http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=6123444
Starting at the parking area at the end of Church Road, we headed off down Lighthouse Road to...
Yes you've guessed, the Lighthouse.
We couldn't decide if the tide was going out or coming in. By the end of the walk it was obviously going out.
Constant calls from curlews accompanied us as we walked along the Mersey. The clockwise direction, chosen by wind direction,was a good move.
Apparently the walk, so far had been part of the Mersey Way
|- "Is there any other!"|
Now sheltered from the wind, coats were unzipped as the sun emerged from what had been a cloudy day.
Just before the junction of Church End, Church Road and Within Way stands the new bronze of the Childe of Hale. He is looking towards the cottage where he lived.
According to contemporary accounts and his epitaph, Middleton grew to the height of "9 feet, 3 inches" (2.81 m).
Because of his size, landlord and sheriff of Lancashire Gilbert Ireland hired him as a bodyguard.
An impressive bronze but I didn't feel it was as captivating as the Beech trunk carving.
If you visit Liverpool, or live locally, this is a walk worth doing. Bird watchers in particular will, as we did, enjoy the experience.