Historic New Mills footpath closed over rock fall fears

A path which has been used by mill workers and townspeople for over 200 years has been closed to the public.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 28th January 2016, 2:03 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th January 2016, 3:49 pm
The Torrs gorge footpath has been closed to the public.
The Torrs gorge footpath has been closed to the public.

The footpath, which runs down the Torrs gorge in New Mills, has had barriers erected to stop people accessing it due to the risk of rock falls.

Earlier this month, New Mills Town Council was advised that the gorge was a hazard to any person taking the path which runs alongside the River Sett below a crag.

A spokesperson for New Mills Town Council said: “New Mills Town Council has needed to close a section of the Torrs Riverside Park footpath following a recent rock fall incident which took place in December last year.

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“We made the area safe and have been seeking expert advice on the best way forward to stabilise the rock face and to ensure continued public safety of the many residents and visitors attracted to the area.

“We are currently reviewing our options on the footpath diversion during the term of the closure.”

Derek Brumhead, a local historian and geologist who has written several books on the area, said: “The path has been used since the 1790s and performed a significant role in the development of the town.”

“It allowed access for workers and materials such as cotton and coal - in short it allowed the mills to keep working.

“There may be a way of making it safe but I think it would be difficult and very, very expensive.”

“Personally I think it will be closed permanently.”