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'Then and Now' - A Pictorial History

23/06/21
Beeston-Castle-c1900

The Sandstone Ridge Trust is compiling a pictorial history of The Sandstone Ridge, one of Cheshire's most distinctive landscapes. Old photographs and postcards can provide a revealing snapshot into how people have interacted with their landscape.

Our featured image, shows individuals at the dramatic ruins of Beeston Castle at the beginning of the 20th century.

This early photograph shows much of the inner gatehouse to be overgrown and covered in ivy.
The 19th century saw the castle develop as a tourist attraction, facilitated by the opening of the Chester to Crewe railway in 1846. Two years previously the castle had been the setting for the first Beeston Festival; an annual two-day event, drawing thousands of people.

The current ticket office and the stone wall around the base of the crag were built in 1846. The wall also acted as a boundary for the deer and the kangaroos that were, somewhat surprisingly, kept on the site.

Beeston passed to English Heritage in 1984. The present concrete bridge leading to the inner ward was built in 1975 to improve access.

The Trust would like to hear from anyone who has old photographs and postcards of the Sandstone Ridge area — email us on info@sandstoneridge.org.uk