Tag Archives: moors

Discovering Midgley Moor Archaeology i

moor-path-1

On a bright and warm August Bank holiday Monday, we armed ourselves with pies and pop and set off to meet our friends M&M.  We spotted them outside the pub, enjoying a pre-walk tipple.  I shouted ‘oi!’.

A bit early for us to start drinking, we walked through the thronging town centre in the glorious sun, and awaited them at the bus stop.  Marisa appeared first, having dashed round charity shops looking for a cardigan.  Mike arrived soon after and stood smoking under a tree like the enigmatic poet.  As the bus climbed up Birchcliffe, we talked about the routes we planned to take and the archaeology we hoped to see.  Mike filled our heads with stories of people on acid discovering stone circles and Robin Hood being a giant.

At Lane Ends, Phil and I said goodbye and alighted.  M&M were taking a longer route across the moor than us, starting at Crimsworth Dean: we planned to meet back at the pub early evening.

We walked up Popples Lane.  An old farmer who looked a 100 years old greeted us as he emerged from a barn (I later discovered he was a proper local character who lived in the barn and spent his days carrying out ancient farming tasks; likely been there his entire life!)

As we turned a bedick-ing-2nd the lane became Latham Lane.  The sign for ‘Dick Ing’ created mirth.  The lane wound and climbed in a picturesque fashion up to another farm.

A sizeable track led upwards to the Calderdale Way.  We went through the gate onto Midgley Moor.  Admiring the vistas, we followed the path along the moor edge and onwards to the middle.

Finding ourselves on smaller paths, we were unsure of our next move but at such a high vantage point, confident of our location in relation to local settlements. I caught glimpses of a path at right angles in the distance.  We made our way towards this wider path, stopping to examine small huts (working out eventually they were grouse hides) and to gaze at square stone structures in the distance (vent shafts for the aqueducts carrying water under the moor).

greenwood-stone-1Eventually turning right, we progressed through fading purple heather and navigated the odd boggy spot.  A few yards off the path to our left, we noticed a moor pond and a standing stone some way behind.

We picked our way with caution through the heather to reach ‘Greenwood Stone’ ii.  This seemed a suitable juncture for lunch.

Working out that Miller’s Grave iii was nearby, we headed towards it.  Along the slightly bigger paths amongst the heather, we came across a large boulder (the fabled Robin Hood’s Pennystone iii).  From there, we could see a pile of stones further on and knew we had located the next object of our quest – Miler’s Grave iv.  On reaching the monument I circumnavigated; ill-advised perhaps as some of the outer stones proved unstable.

robin-hoods-pennystone-4We expected that retracing our steps back to the larger path would be straightforward as we just had to head for the large boulder then the standing stone.

Alas, the latter had disappeared from view!  However, we were fairly certain of our direction and continued.

Phil decided to take a cleared part which looked easier but dry, dying heather hampered our progress.  Eventually, we espied the Greenwood Stone again and made towards it.

En route, we noticed a ‘white stick of archaeology’ next to a sunken boulder and took another diversion to investigate.  We found what was obviously a stone circle (the one discovered on acid maybe?)  We also spotted other boulders a way off.  I wondered if they formed part of a larger stone circle, but Phil thought that unlikely.  Eventually finding our way back via the standing stone and the mill pond onto the main path, we walked southwards, again fairly sure of where it would lead.  After a short distance, we spotted the top of another standing stone and guessed that was our destination.

Sure enough as we approached, we recognised Churn Milk Joan v.  We stopped to see if anyone had left any money on top.

I texted Marisa to learn that they were already near the pub.  They must have walked at a fair lick!  I also texted another friend who aimed to meet us for a drink. churn-milk-joan-2

We turned Westwards along the ridge, back onto the Calderdale way, pausing occasionally to take in the views down towards the valley and across to strange white sheeting that looked like a ski slope on Scout Rock (ongoing post-flood work).  A grouse emerged squawking from the brush, making me jump.  We went through an attractive exit gate and started our descent towards civilisation.

 

only-foods-and-saucesAt the Mount Skip Golf Club, we considered continuing on the path and finding a trackway down to Old Town.  Mud and horned sheep made us reconsider this option.

Instead we descended a bank and over a stile onto the fairway.  We noted patches of long grass and grazing birds, and laughed at a warning sign on hole 12.

Going onto the driveway we picked our way across a cattle grid and down onto Heights Road.

We looked at old ruins and the ‘only sauce and horses’ trailer in a dilapidated farmyard, whilst bemoaning the lack of a short cut to the Hare and Hounds.

At the pub, we went round the back to find M&M in the beer garden, sitting at a table adorned with blue eggs.  We enjoyed the early evening sun and compared notes on our respective walks. I showed Mike my photos and he confirmed the archaeological landmarks we had found.  Feeling hungry, we asked about food at the bar.  A harassed landlord told us they had a limited menu due to heavy traffic, and the kitchen was shutting at 7.30.  We hastily ordered burgers.

Our other friend arrived and we all chatted amiably until M&M departed to walk back to town.  As the sun set it became chilly.  We retreated indoors until it was time for the next bus.  The bus route took us up to Crimsworth Dean before going down again.  We gazed out at the late summer evening sky, resplendent with reds and blues, whizzing past the windows.

 

exit-gate-2

More photos at: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AjkK19zVvfQtiMBDZud5pUyX0kJ6CA

Notes

  1. http://midgleywebpages.com/midgleywest.html – general info on Midgely Moor pre-history
  2. https://megalithix.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/greenwood-stone/ – Greenwood Stone
  1. https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1018236 – Miller’s Grave
  2. https://megalithix.wordpress.com/2010/09/06/churn-milk-joan/ – Churn Milk Joan

 

Jumble Hole Rambles

Stone waterfall 2

A mid-October ramble started with an easy walk along the canal to Callis Bridge. Crossing the road, we turned right up Jumble Hole Road then followed a path on the left side of the stream. Amongst the very pretty trees and undergrowth we spied a number of old broken down buildings giving the impression that this was once a village in the industrial era.

Mini moors 1We came to the remains of a mill confirming this view. With no way to carry on up the left side of the stream, we crossed via a bridge running parallel to a stunning waterfall.

We then ascended a steep tarmac path before veering off onto a smaller path back along the route of the stream albeit a lot higher up.

Further on, we had a choice of several forks in the path and took one going down to a cute stone bridge we knew well. Traversing the stream once again, we climbed up to a different path leading back down towards the Pennine Way.

The steep climb and lack of stopping places rendered us in severe need of R&R (rest and refreshment).

Kinky bridgeWe sat on a flat rock which had become so overgrown that it resembled a mini moor.

After a picnic, we embarked on the last part of our ramble. This involved a steep descent making us footsore.

However, we still managed to laugh at the sign for ‘Lacy underbridge’ as we emerged back onto the main road!

 

9 - Small ruined house 1Visiting the clough again the following April, we noticed that some of the old ruins had been demolished, but we found a tiny house to explore.   Taking care not to sink into the several inches of mulch, we marvelled at the small dimensions including the very low ceiling that must have been in place judging by the evidence remaining.

 

10 - Pikachu woods 3

After crossing near the waterfall and climbing up the valley side, we turned left up a different path than last time, which took us through a strange ‘Pikachu’ woods . Moss had grown round the bottom of all the trees creating weird animal-looking formations.

Following a steep climb, we eventually came out onto a grassy lane.

 

11 - Spring lamb 3

We took a somewhat circuitous route via a dodgy path to Great Rock where we enjoyed lovely views and a picnic. We then walked down a very pretty road, with spring lambs aplenty.

 

12 - Stocks

 

At the village of Cross Stones, we laughed at the stocks and wondered if they were still in use, before walking the rest of the way down to the bus stop.

 

An alternative route into Jumble Hole cCough involved catching a bus with a friend up to Blackshaw Head. Alighting near the graveyard, we walked down following the’ Calderdale way’ signs.

Alpaca family 4This took us along small paths. Somewhat overgrown in July, the stone paving rendered them still navigable. I picked wild grasses and stopped to look at stone troughs, wild flowers and unexpected llamas.

 

 

Staups Mill 2We turned left at a wooden gate and traversed a field of sheep down to a wooden bridge into the clough. We crossed the bridge and followed the path along the streamto Staups Mill.

After a picnic, we continued down the clough and back across the stream at the arched bridge. From there we climbed towards the Pennine way and along smaller paths homeward, admiring the lovely hedgerow flowers along the way.

Harebells 2Later in summer, I took my partner the route my friend had shown me. We admired colourful flowers, long grasses and curious alpacas (with babies this time) on our way down to the clough.  We stopped in the lovely meadow above the clough lingering to take in the scenery. Delicate harebells contrasted with the lush grass.

 

We then crossed the bridge and along the path to Staups Mill. From there we decided to take a new route going downwards which eventually led to the cute stone bridge in Staups Clough.

Again we chose a different, lower, path to the usual.  We expected it would eventually lead back up to the path with the ‘mini moor’. It didn’t. Instead, we found ourselves following a narrow, overgrown path almost at the top of the tree line. A veritable jungle in places, we had to watch our step.

Eventually it led down to the paved path we knew. Tired form the effort, we stopped at the graveyard at the now-ruined Mount Olivet Chapel before continuing down.

Hedgerow flowers 3

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

http://1drv.ms/1aWE3fr

http://1drv.ms/1DwilLX

http://1drv.ms/1hqmGpx