Tag Archives: crow

Archaeology in Cross Stone

Stoodley View

A rare Friday outing began with a speedy bus journey to Todmorden.  Having no firm plans about what to do when we got there, Phil suggested going up to Cross Stone to re-examine a prehistoric site, previously visited during an archaeology trip some time ago.  I agreed, with the proviso that we had food first.  Alighting at the bus station, we entered the classic market hall to be tempted by an all-day breakfast at the cheap ‘n’ cheerful Market Hall Café.

Red and yellow 4

From the town centre, we took a back route eastward, stopping briefly in the community garden.

Bees buzzed amidst colourful flower beds. Young green apples hung from low branches.  Juvenile jackdaws searched for worms on the moist grass.  A small tent pitched close to the bins, suggesting someone lived there.

Proceeding down back streets we noted the familiar northern town grid-pattern terraces. We walked the length of the unmistakably Victorian-named Industrial Street, and turned right onto Anchor Street.

At the corner of Halifax Road, I cut through the grounds of Roomfiled Baptist Church to re-join Phil on Halifax Road.  We paused on the bridge over the River Calder to watch dippers hopping among the stones as small fish created concentric ripples on the water’s surface.

Street sign 4The second turning on the left marked the start of our climb up Cross Stone Road.  Urban landscapes quickly gave way to a more rural aspect.  Steep curves led us past dark green verges, almost submerging large stones and unkempt benches.  An old toll house had been converted into a twee cottage.

At the top, we felt overheated layer and rested awhile by a clump of dog roses. We turned up Hey Head Lane toward the golf club.  Unsure of where the earthworks lay, we followed the drive into the car park, and started heading upwards across the green to a likely ridge. Phil asked a helpful golfer if he knew where the site was and he directed us to the top of the course.

Golf course 5On a further ridge, we tried to differentiate between ancient markings and modern bunkers.  A second golfer shouted sarcastically “take your time!”  before informing us about a public footpath along the top edge of the green.  This turned out to be quite pleasant.  Edged with small shrubs, grasses and willow herbs, we discovered what looked like a grave marked by a standing stone in a boggy patch.

Eventually, Phil reckoned we had located the ‘earthwork’.  Having been told in archaeology class that it was a long barrow, we were sceptical.  Clearly visible markings that appeared to be field boundaries, lay atop the undulating mound, suggesting this had been a settlement. Views of the valley across to Stoodley Pike seemed to confirm our theory.i

Up the laneQuest over, we returned to the marked path.  A gap in a lovely stone wall led back onto the lane.  I developed indigestion as a result of eating just before embarking on the climb.  I tried to ignore it and concentrated on the pleasant walk down.  In places, hedgerows of hawthorns were fronted by stone walls suggesting that Medieval hedges had then been added to later.

Back in the village, we rested on a wall by the now-defunct church.  Ignoring the curtain-twitchers, we looked round for the stocks then realised they were by our feet, almost totally overgrown with weeds.  We had noticed a footpath down the west side of the churchyard and guessed it might cut out the first big bend on Cross Stone Road.

Carr Lane Farm 2The extremely narrow path soon arrived at some steps.  A woman gardening informed us of the way to go, but it seemed to be leading in the wrong direction.  The untrodden path took on a spooky aspect, until we reached another ‘junction’.

I suggested taking a lane back to the road rather than following the path (signed ‘Calderdale way link path’) as I didn’t want to end up walking along the tops all the way home.  We past an impossibly cute row of houses, followed by a row of posh parked cars.

Later, I discovered it was marked on the map as ‘Carr Lane Farm’, but the clues implied this was now a des res.  Carr Lane became grassy as it led us down to Cross Stone Road.  From there, it was an easy stroll down to the main road where we caught a bus straight away and were soon home.

Note

i For more information on the bronze age ‘Blackheath long barrow’ see:

https://www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/residents/leisure-and-culture/local-history-and-heritage/glimpse-past/archaeology

More photos at: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AjkK19zVvfQti4IqLoyglWjabVfbvg

Golf course 2

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Waterworld

Pool reflections 1

A late May Sunday, we forced ourselves out of the house despite feeling tired and lazy and initially walked to the Sunday market.  Phil nipped in the newsagents while I looked at a few new stalls along the roadside.

Purple bloom with bee 2He came over and was taken by the posh pie stall with a massive queue of punters being fleeced (which later prompted us to consider ideas for selling stuff to idiots).  I said he would be better off going to the bakers, where we bought pastries at a third of the price.  We then walked up to Commercial Street and admired structured flower beds and bees.

Continuing up Keighley Road and into Nutclough, we noted several changes since our last visit in January (I don’t remember ever visiting in May before; we usually go further on our walks at this time of year).

Iron gate

 

A profusion of greenery created a picturesque frame for the iron gate.  Through the gate, we took the lower path and up steps overgrown with more greenery and yellow flowers.

Coming back up, bluebells edged the path and populated an area above a wall opposite, creating a forest amongst the ferns.

 

We proceeded down to the water where newly placed stones made it a lot easier to cross to the ‘island’.  Amongst the waterlogged ground we found more grasses and flowers.  A woman with a small dog came to talk to us and suggested going further up the clough.  I thanked her and said we did know the area.

We wandered around a while then sat on the sunken bench to eat our pies and enjoy the reflections of sky and branches in the water.  The scene was marred somewhat by a man with three kids playing at the other side of the stream, as he allowed a small boy pee in plain sight – not something you want to see when you’re eating your lunch!

White and yellow with tiny mothA more pleasant distraction was found in a moth that resembled a leaf.  As it settled on a nearby plant, we vied with each other for the best spot to get a close-up shot.  My efforts were appalling but earlier I had captured a tiny moth among a clump of small white flowers.

We then walked towards the weir and turned sharp left to take the path up, admiring the large sycamore as we reached the treetops.

On arriving at the row of houses on Sandy Gate, we walked back along the road for a short time before taking a shortcut down a path and through the car park of the Birchcliffe Centre.

Back in town, we crossed the busy pedestrian area and went down by the river to look at crows and pigeons behaving strangely in the late afternoon sun.

More photos at: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AjkK19zVvfQtirNgmqDlwCvFCdPOIg

Bluebell forest

Winding Down Through Rawtenstall

Blackshaw Head - Hedgerow and sky 1

On a changeable November Sunday, we ventured up to the hills. At the bus stop it started to rain but thankfully the bus arrived soon after. At Blackshaw Head the air proved colder and scraps of snow clung on below hedgerows.

Blackshaw Head - Milestone 2We alighted at the last stop to consider the ancient history of The Long Causeway and Badger Lane and the old stone routeway marker at the corner of the churchyard.

We turned right off Badger Lane down Marsh Lane and spotted various features: tiny worlds of moss in the crevices of a stone wall; crows sitting on telegraph poles; a muck cart in a field.

 

Marsh Lane - Tiny mossWe admired views towards Stoodley Pike, providing a picturesque backdrop to the scene.

Fortuitous patches of sunlight falling on the slopes below highlighted glacial scars created in the ‘Calder Gorge’ during the ice age.

 

The ‘ignore your sat nav’ signs still made us laugh as we veered left along Winter Lane. The lane had been re-surfaced since our last visit. At the next junction, we turned right down an unpaved lane signed ‘lower Rawtenstall’.

Rawtenstall - Managed woodland 2After amusing ourselves with photos of giant chickens, we continued down and through what appeared to be a managed woodland.

We surmised it must have been parkland of some kind in Victorian times as the rock cliffs looked like they had been manmade.

The whole scene was too picturesque in a twee way to be wholly natural. I posited it might have been the grounds of Rawtenstall Manor.

Rawtenstall - Stone gatepost 1The path snaked downwards and took us past ruins of old buildings and gate posts until it became paved again and bore the moniker ‘Turret Hall Road’.

We noticed the posh drainage: at one point the water looked as if it was going uphill which of course was an optical illusion “It’s just like the electric bray”, I remarked.

Rounding another bend, I could hear voices coming down the path behind us and when they caught up, I saw it was our old neighbour with a male companion. We said hello and they strode off purposefully ahead of us. Just before the b

ottom of the lane, I spotted a turn off called ‘Under Cragg’. I chuckled at the literal Yorkshire name – so typical of round here.

Oakville Road - Pothole reflections 3

We then proceeded down to Oakville Road – a familiar route back from Jumble Hole. We continued alongside the railway, pausing to examine reflections in the potholes.  Phil commented that they had not done the drainage properly here as they had further up.

When we got onto the main road, Phil stopped to take more photos of crows. An old man at a nearby bus stop came over and told us about a rare talking bird behind the hedge. We peered through and although we could hear a strange squawking, I could only see yet more chickens.

We crossed the road at Stubbings and after some debate, decided to avail ourselves of the pub’s facilities. This led to buying beer and in turn to staying for a late Sunday lunch. Whilst waiting for our food to arrive, we examined a map of the old parish boundaries on the wall behind us. After eating, I started to feel very sleepy. We left and took the quickest way home as dark descended.

More photos at: http://1drv.ms/1lM3d52

 

Marsh Lane - Muck cart