A bus runs two hourly back to Longridge from Barrow, there is one at about 5pm. My bus app says there is one due in 5 minutes, we should be OK. As we approached we found ourselves in newly developing housing, we took to the access road only to find it was blocked with that wire fencing erected around building sites. Panic followed as we peered through the fencing at the nearby bus stop. We didn’t have time to burrow Colditz style under the security barrier but with a little lateral thinking we made our escape onto a nearby lane and as we arrived at the road an unidentified bus was approaching. A desperate outstretched hand somehow halted the bus and we clambered on thanking the driver. We were home and dry.
The day had started more sedately with a stroll through housing estates in Longridge until we were level with the quarries at the top of town. The caravan site in the largest quarry was closed for a few weeks and there was no one climbing in the esoteric Craig Y Longridge. Here we left the roads and took to a bridleway below the incongruous ‘chalet’ development that was so controversial when planne, it pales into insignificance with todays developments in the town.The only thing of note was a new seat with an agricultural theme.
Down the old lane we arrived at ‘The Written Stone’ which I’ve mentioned several times in local blogs.
What I hadn’t noticed before was the typo error where the carver had misspelt stone and added a small o later. We then spent the morning traversing the southern side of Longridge Fell on paths and tracks between ancient farmsteads crunching through the snow in bright sunshine. One of the first farms, 250year old Hoardsall, has the appearance of years gone by. This morning the farmer was busy splitting logs, his source of fuel, in an outhouse with his black and white cat watching on. We fell into conversation and gleaned a fascinating history of sheep farming in the area. His farm yard was cobbled with local sandstone setts which had been augmented in the past with granite setts removed from Brook Street in Preston. [I knew of an antique business which purchased old setts, street architecture, pub paraphernalia and red phone boxes etc when Preston was being ‘modernised’] A fascinating encounter which makes me think that these insights should be recorded for posterity.
New Row Cottages in Knowle Green formerly belonged to cotton weavers and are now a peaceful haven away from the main road.
Ahead was a tree topped hillock of unkown origin. Eventually we joined the delightful bridleway alongside Dean Brook into Hurst Green. One of my favourite walks. We lunched on a wall by the Shireburn Almshouses which were first built on Longridge Fell in 1706 but moved and rebuilt in Hurst Green in 1946. The village is closely associated with nearby Stoneyhurst College whose grounds we walked through. Much has been written about this famous Jesuit establishment. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonyhurst All the while a snowy Pendle loomed in the background.
Leaving the grounds we dropped down to cross the River Hodder at the historic border between Yorkshire and Lancashire. You take your life in your hands to view the inscription on the bridge and the nearby ‘Cromwells Bridge’
We did not enjoy the forced road walking into Mitton and were glad to escape into a quieter land leading to the 12th century All Hallows Church. Next door was the stately 17th century Great Mitton Hall. Downhill on the busy road we crossed the River Ribble with more views of an arctic Pendle Hill. This is fantastic Lancashire countryside. Pleasant field paths led us to our debacle with the new housing estate. The best day so far on our SD38 journey.There were signs of spring all along the way.
Badly sited and unsympathetically designed housing estates are appearing like mushrooms. Over Wyre, Poulton, Garstang, and Thornton are all blighted, or are soon to be so. Surely in times of Brexit we need our farming land for what it’s supposed to do best, and not lost forever to these visual abominations.
It’s horrendous in Longridge at present, the new housing completely swamping what was an honest little working community.
Fabulous historical finds there…scenery was pretty too. Glad you made it to the bus : )
It was a perfect day.
Catching the bus was a close call.
“Twas a grand day. I like the panorama shot of Pendle, did you use a setting on the camera for that?
No I just let the camera set itself.
Was a perfect day.
Wonderful! Sorry about the new housing estates. Not many places are free of these blights.
A pleasant walk with a bit of drama at the end.
We’ll be continuing this week.
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