Mr and Mrs Stonyhurst.

Another walk on the quiet side of the Longridge Fell.

As I write this there is a large fire blazing in a plantation somewhere up there possibly even on this route from the other day. I assure you I did not have any part in its genesis.

I  don’t have any questions on my mind as I stroll down the bridleway past Crowshaw House. The crowds have gone the other way up onto Longridge Fell on the forestry tracks so I have my paths to myself. I’m tempted to trespass and have a look at the hidden lake which is part of the Stonyhurst Estate, another time maybe. So on past buttresssed Greengore, an ancient shooting lodge which I’ve photographed many times. A little stile, which could easily be missed, on the left, leads to a faint path through the trees and down to cross Dean Brook by a footbridge. Up the other side, you come out into fields by Higher Deer House, another sign of the estate’s deer park from the past.

Stonyhurst College on the lower slopes of Longridge Fell has a long history first as a private estate of the Shireburn family and then as a Catholic College. The village of Hurst Green is an integral neighbour of the estate,

I follow the track out to the road and immediately come face to face with the Pinfold Cross with its ominous inscription – ‘WATCH FOR YOU KNOW NOT THE DAY NOR HOUR.’

I’ve often stopped to read this but have not noticed the other inscription above  ‘OFT EVENINGS GLAD MAKE MORNINGS SAD’ and more importantly on the left ‘PRAY FOR THE SOUL OF JAMES WELLS’  and on the right ‘DIED FEB. 12TH, 1834′ This extra information allowed me to track down the origins of the cross – a memorial to a former servant at Stonyhurst College and fiddler, James Wells, who fell to his death in a quarry nearby. I never knew that so I have answered one of my outstanding questions already about Stonyhurst.

Down the lane before Stockbridge Cottages, properties of the college, I pick up a well-trodden path heading up the fell towards Kemple End quarries. This appears as a sunken track and I’ve heard possibly that it was a trackway used for bringing stone down from the quarries to Hurst Green for the construction of parts of Stonyhurst. Today the local farmer was out checking his fences and was keen to chat. So question two – what was the track for? Yes, he explained it was a sledge way pulled by horses from the quarry. The barn at the bottom which I had just passed was used for stabling the horses.

Another query I had was about the Almshouses in Hurst Green which were apparently built high on Longridge Fell and at some later date moved stone by stone and re-erected in the village. That was a known fact but I often wondered where they had been on the Fell originally. The farmer supplied his answer that they had been just above the road near Leeming quarry in an area known as the Blue Lagoon. That seems feasible.

Hurst Green Almshouses.

Original site.

The Blue Lagoon.


Once up at Kemple End I had a short drink’s break and contemplated which way to take back to my car, along the road or the slightly longer and higher forest tracks. Obviously, the latter was chosen. I was wandering slowly up the zigzags looking at the flora when a young man caught me up. Keeping to our regulation 2m social distancing we chatted for a while. He had set himself a challenge for his lockdown period, 50 hills within walking distance of Clitheroe. I enthused about his project and wished him well.

My favourite cottage at Kemple End.

A few more people were using these forest tracks but it was easy to keep clear of them, is this how paranoia starts? A friend came by on his mountain bike with his 3year old son riding high at the front, his wife followed on using an electric mountain bike.

I had enjoyed a leisurely 6mile stroll on a busy weekend avoiding most of humanity and discovered a few more pieces of local history.





      1. 5000milewalk

        The inscriptions on the cross are hilarious – although clearly not meant to be back in the 19th century!…

        “WATCH FOR YOU KNOW NOT THE DAY NOR HOUR”… Hmm, what are you meant to watch? And would it make any difference? 🤣

        “OFT EVENINGS GLAD MAKE MORNINGS SAD” Oh yeah, I’ve had plenty of them!

        Nice walk there BC 👍

  1. conradwalks.blogspot.com

    I think I may have been a bit overconfident about traipsing through cow fields in the past but I would think twice about confronting those two.

    One day I will have to go to Kemple End just to satisfy my curiosity.

    1. 5000milewalk

      🤣 they do look like they mean it, don’t they!

      “Come on if you think you’re hard enough!” 😂

        1. 5000milewalk

          Oi! I’m a mamby city type!….. but yeah, don’t think I’d take them on! 🤣😂

  2. Eunice

    The cottage at Kemple End looks so pretty – I could quite happily live there as long as someone maintained the garden for me 🙂

    1. Richard Foster

      Bowland Climber,
      Thank you for your kind comments about Kemple End, and the cottage in particular.

      Re the pretty cottage at Kemple End, you can indeed ‘ live there ‘. The part with the black and white porch is an award winning one-bedroom holiday cottage, available for short breaks of 3 nights or more ( when current Covid-19 restrictions allow ). Search online for Alden Cottage for full details. And someone maintains the garden as well ! Regards, The owner.

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  4. Clare Pooley

    Thank you for all the wonderful walks and scenery. Is that the Stoneyhurst College where Gerard Manley Hopkins studied to become a Jesuit priest?

    1. bowlandclimber

      Yes, he was already a priest I think when he was teaching classics at the school.
      An extract from his poem Inversnaid is one of the poems painted on slates and positioned on Longridge Fell at present. All are meant to raise our spirits during the lockdown as well as highlight environmental problems.


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