I actually set the alarm last night as we needed an early start today. When Richard got up to make the tea Millie was out which is most unusual but when I got up I called her and she bounded out of the wood – she obviously thought it was a nice Millie-place! We went and collected our milk and daily paper and set off – 12 miles and 12 locks, we hadn’t done as many locks and miles since doing this same stretch in September. We went through eight locks and pulled over at Midland Chandlers and got inside before it poured down. After lunch we set off again. We passed the Moat House Hotel at Acton Trussell which is a Grade II* listed building. It sits on a raised mound which was constructed in the Norman time and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. Around 6,000 moated sites are known in England, the majority of which served as prestigious aristocratic and seigniorial residences with the provision of a moat as a status symbol, rather than a practical military defence. The peak period during which moated sites were built was between c1250 and 1350. Examination of the timber frame during refurbishing of the Manor points to a date around 1320. It is said that James Brindley actually used the moat for a few yards when building the canal. When we came this way last time we passed through Tixall Wide and decided that it was rather nice so that was our goal for the day. We arrived in lovely sunshine but there was a cold, cold wind. We moored overlooking the Elizabethan gatehouse that I talked about back in September but have now discovered that Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned there for two weeks in 1586.