Sunday mornings can be depressing when you wake up to rain and dull weather. This tune came into my head and I couldn’t get rid of it all day. Listen whilst reading…
So I was late setting off to do a walk – felt I had to have some exercise once the rain eased. Most of my walks up Longridge Fell are from the NW side where I live but as the wind was from that direction today I decided on an approach from the gentle south side. Parked up near the Bailey Arms in Hurst Green. There is a lovely path that drops down to and then follows Dean Brook past several old Bobbin Mills. As one walks beside the stream there is ample evidence of diversions to form mill races. These have been cut into the soft sandstone and give an evocative view of life here in the past.
A little further up the dean over to the right is a small former quarry, Sand Rock, where a few years ago Simon and I climbed an E2 5c route up the middle of the main cliff. Looking at it today it looks desperate and in need of a clean, but there would be some possibility of bouldering on this face. [Robin please note].
Anyhow today that wasn’t high on my objectives, I was happy just to harvest some wild garlic leaves for supper tonight. The path crosses a bridge where I often played poo sticks with my children and then grandchildren. Climbing out of the valley you come to the 16th-century hunting lodge of the Shireburn family, original occupants of Stoneyhurst, its buttressed structure evidence to its longevity. An adjoining building functions as a camping barn.
The track continued with views up to the fell.
Passing Crowshaw Quarry, [scene of some recent bouldering exploits] over the road and into the trees of Longridge Fell. There has been a lot of felling recently because of the Rhizosphaera needle-cast fungus. The hillside looks like the Somme battlefield. But everywhere new life is springing up with baby trees, will they be fungus free?
Up through the woods to near Green Thorn farm, where there are some magnificent beech trees. This is the one I want to climb – if you have read Robert Macfarlane’s The Wild Places you will know what I mean.
I didn’t go up to the trig point today but headed for ‘Sam’s Best View’, a northern view over the Chipping valley to the Bowland Fells. A shaft of sunlight pierced the sky whilst I was there. Back south down through the trees to emerge onto the road and then a footpath I have never been on. I ended up lost, misplaced in the garden of Fell Side Farm. With no help from any waymarks, I made my way down a delightful small valley which brought me out onto the road heading to Stonyhurst College. The college was founded in 1593, and located at Stonyhurst Hall in 1794. Today it provides expensive boarding and day education to approximately 450 boys and girls. The church of St. Peter’s was open today and I was able to view the interior and the stained-glass windows.
A stroll through fields below the cricket pitch brought me out next to the Alms Houses in Hurst Green, These were originally built on Longridge Fell at Kemple End but ‘moved’ to the village after the war.