BACK ON HOME GROUND (Should that be bog)

After two weeks out in a hot and sunny Spain it came as a shock to find myself walking across a boggy Lancashire hillside.

North of Great Hill.

North of Great Hill.

I had not been to Anglezarke for several years, which is where I had arranged to meet Alan. The large carpark has now a barrier on it which is closed at 5pm and that made me nervous, would we be back in time. At least it hadn’t become pay and display. We opted for roadside parking, as had many more, wondering about the local authority’s parking policies for what is a popular walking area. When I think about it – it’s probably water board land.

Golden Tower, Anglezarke.

Golden Tower, Anglezarke.

A bright Autumn morning …….. as we wandered along by the reservoir joggers, dog walkers and mountain bikers all mingled happily. Walking under Stronsey Bank we reminisced over summer evenings there. Several of us would meet every Wednesday evening after work in one or other Lancashire quarry for a a climbing session. Wilton, Anglezarke, Denham, Troy and Cadshaw were the most regular venues. They were all popular with climbers, less so nowadays I fear. The rock up in Stronsey was not the best but it had a pleasant outlook. Interestingly a new guidebook to Bouldering in Lancashire has just been published and smaller bits of rocks scattered about these hillsides are given prominence.

Stronsey Bank.

Stronsey Bank.

The paths follow the Goyte ‘canal’ which links the reservoirs here to those near Abbey village.

White Coppice.

White Coppice.

Soon past the delightful White Coppice cricket pitch and on into Brinscal Woods.tmp_SAM_57191949540485

Within this setting there are many derelict buildings. Their origin has always been a mystery to me but no longer, I’ve just found this wonderful little website dedicated to the history of the area. In detail and with good photos it delves into the origins of the ruins hereabouts. Fascinating, well done whoever you are.

http://www.white-coppice.co.uk

Confusion set in for the next hour as we tried to navigate eastwards across the fell, walls didn’t seem to be going the right way and the farm ruins were all in the ‘wrong’ place. Solomon’s Temple ( despite the name only some farm ruins) was our saviour, from there we picked a way across the surprisingly boggy ground.

Solomon's Temple.

Solomon’s Temple.

Crossing the A675 we disappeared into more waterlogged ground in the woods on the other side. A stream in a glen was a pleasant diversion before we started the climb up to Great Hill.

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Looking back to Great Hill.

Again we passed several ruined farms in outstanding situations, maybe the hard living there would not have been outstanding!.

By the time we were back at the car tiredness was creeping on and we glad there was no panic with a 5 o’clock parking deadline. The nights are drawing in and it was distinctly cool. We called in at an old haunt, The Bay Horse, for a pint and discussion as to how far we had actually walked today!  Maybe 10 maybe 12 miles, but they were rough and boggy so we were satisfied. (Moreso now I’m able to read the history of the land)

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