Sunday 28 April 2019


by Dave Roberts

Back in the early part of 2012 this postcard from the Paul Hough Collection had us puzzled and intrigued for many a long hour. Many people had a go at reconciling the view above with what most people thought must be the modern-day 'waterfall' or weir. 
The theorizing and speculation went on for a long time and spawned no less than three diary entries with new photographs, diagrams, maps and theories galore to explain what looked like drastic changes to the river and the land and buildings on its banks.

My first thought was that the photo had something of the look of Chester Road about it. This was based on nothing more than a feeling, as there is certainly nothing even slightly resembling a waterfall on the River Wheelock near Chester Road.

Most people's thoughts turned to the River Dane near Croxton Lane where there is a weir (which the fanciful might describe, at a pinch, as a 'waterfall'). But try as we might we couldn't get the modern day weir or its surroundings to fit the old postcard. Not, that is, without surmising that something truly catastrophic must have happened to the area between the date of the postcard and the present day. 

Here's a link to part one of our collective musings. There are links to parts two and three in the text.


As in the case of  most of our Middlewich Diary 'mysteries' the answer was actually quite straightforward, if unexpected. 

It took a lateral thinker like 'Harry Random' to come up with the answer. And here it is. Read it and weep!

Hi Dave,

The 'mystery' surrounding the Croxton waterfall and the differences in the two pictures (the old postcard and a more recent picture of the waterfall) has led to numerous theories to explain the anomaly. In some ways the person that came closest to solving the mystery was the person who wrote "Now and Then: Can this really be the same place?". (that was me! - Ed)

The explanation for the differences in the appearance of the waterfall can be traced back to the original photographer mislabelling the photograph. As a result a photograph that was taken of the waterfall which is next to St Leonard's Church, School Lane, Warmingham Cheshire was later used for the postcard showing "Croxton Water Fall, Middlewich".

Therefore the answer to the mystery is that they are not actually of the same place, and the house that is in the background of the postcard can still be seen from the bridge which is opposite the Bears Paw in Warmingham.


Harry Random

So, in conclusion, there was, and is, a Croxton Water Fall (or weir)  in all likelihood in the spot we were looking at, not far from the Croxton Lane Bridge. It's just that that 'water fall' is not the one shown in the picture!

Photo: Cheshire Image Bank (courtesy of Chris Koons)

Only the day after this was published, another view of the house in the photo came to light on the Cheshire Image Bank site. Here's what we said on Facebook:

Well that's torn it! You know when you think you've solved a mystery....? Chris Koons (Christine Sant as was) who now lives in the USA, tracked down this old postcard in the Cheshire Image Bank. It's clearly the house in our 'Croxton Water Fall' photo and it's titled 'Croxton Hall'. You can even see a bit of the weir in the bottom right hand corner. So is this another mis-labelled postcard? What's needed is a modern day photo of the house which, according to 'Harry Random', can be seen from the bridge over the River Wheelock next to Warmingham Church and opposite 'the Bear's Paw. Curioser and curioser...
First published 27th April 2019

Updated and re-published 28th April 2019

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