Thornley School.

Tuesday. 12th January.    7.5miles.     Longridge

The main road from Longridge to Chipping, which is busier than ever, passes through the small parish of Thornley with Wheatley which you won’t have heard of. It is not a village but merely a scattering of houses and farms. Today’s walk came this way. I’m resigned to those local footpaths that I walked to death in last Spring’s lockdown, but I’m looking for variations. Yesterday it rained continuously, and I didn’t get out of my dressing gown such is the tedium of Covid-19 lockdown that brings inertia on me one or two days a week. But today the sun shone and I had roughly plotted this route the night before which gives a degree of impetus to get up and go.

I leave Longridge along a rather boggy Clay Lane, the snow has gone and the frost is dispersing. Back in the last century there were tile works hereabouts. I was soon across the fields to Gill Bridge over the infant River Loud, today running fast with melt water. I traversed the estate of Blackmoss owned by the Lord Derby family since the C18th. The Derby Arms in is just up the road as is Thornley Hall. Vague paths which I know well crossed over to The Knott farm which is lying empty since the farmer died last year. He was seeped in the land and always seen in his tweed jacket and wellington’s, you could always tell if he was in the local supermarket by a distinct manure odour. He would turn up at my house occasionally with either a tray of 36 eggs or a basket of field mushrooms if they were in season. His sort will be sadly missed.

The empty Knott Farm

I recrossed the Loud and took the little lanes past Wheatley Farm house, 1774, at the base of Longridge Fell. Down the road is Lee House RC church and the old Thornley School which I didn’t visit and wished I had.

Lane to Wheatley.

Wheatley Farm.

Eventually I had to commit to the climb past Dale House and into the woods before coming out onto the golf course above. I was then back on that road leading back to Longridge which I’ve used regularly the last few weeks.

Dale House farm.

Parlick and Fairsnape from the golf course.

Old gate post to Longridge Golf Course established with Preston Cycling Club.

A short diversion was taken to see if I could get a photo of that highland cow with its calf. I managed a better picture of the mother but the infant kept its backside to me. A friend was climbing at Craig y Longridge our local bouldering venue and others were out running up the fell, everyone taking advantage of the sunny weather. An extract from The Lancashire Village Book gives more history here  –



    1. bowlandclimber

      Could have been his doppelgänger. That was a good day out nearly two years ago, and reading your report brought it all back. I wonder when we will get ‘online again’?

  1. Michael Graeme

    Your mileage on these local jaunts is always impressive. I’ll have to seriously up my game. I managed 5 miles in the sun yesterday and thought I was doing well. Poor day for walking today though.

    1. bowlandclimber

      Normally I would be doing longer walks or backpacking trips on an ad hoc basis but as we are grounded I’m more aware of getting out whenever the weather is suitable to avoid becoming a couch potato. Some of my walks, obviously unpublished, are merely functional.
      . Well done on your 5miles – it’s not a competition.
      Today’s not the day for anything outside.

  2. Eunice

    It was a great day for a walk, I was itching to get out myself but after two jobs, one which didn’t finish till well after lunch time because of a difficult client, I hadn’t the time or the impetus to go anywhere decent. And of course it’s been raining all day today 🙁

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  4. cargogirl

    Hi there.
    Just stumbled over your lovely blogs, which I have very much enjoyed.
    I am working on a genealogy profile of Knott Farm, and was wondering if you would have any images or local knowledge that you would allow me to add ?
    Is it possible to discuss this in a direct e-mail ?

    All the Best
    Joann Hanmer

    1. bowlandclimber

      Joann, thanks for looking in.
      I would be happy to share my limited knowledge of The Knott and possibly put you in contact with people who knew the family.
      Why The Knott?
      Do you live locally?
      Anyhow, please contact me and we can correspond.


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