Barrowford 08-10-2017 – Leader Gill

Barrowford 08-10-2017 – Leader Gill

First of all I need to clarify something! This walk included the first 6.7 miles of The Lancashire Witches Way – waymarks are the tercets of Carol Anne Duffy’s poem, or, as there are only 10 of those, the more frequently seen sign here. The full walk is 51 miles long and goes from Barrowford Heritage Centre, via The Forest of Bowland over Salter Fell to Lancaster Castle.

This is not to be confused with The Pendle Witches Way which is 48 miles long and goes from Sabden to Lancaster Castle via The Forest of Bowland and Abbeystead.

Nor is it to be confused with The Pendle Way, which is a 48 mile circular route, which includes the ascent and descent of Pendle Hill, and which uses the waymarkers of a witch on a broomstick, and a big yellow arrow.

So I hope that’s clear!

Given the recent weather, the seven who met at Barrowford Heritage Centre car park thought ourselves very fortunate that the forecast for today was only for a few showers in the afternoon.   We set off towards Higherford, following Pendle Water.  The route takes you across Higherford Old Bridge from which John Wesley preached in 1774, and then up quickly into farmland.  We soon encountered fairly boggy ground – not a surprise, given the rain yesterday.  However, we didn’t expect a tree across our route, so the crossing of Pendle Water via the stepping stones at Roughlee was interesting. Sara led the challenge admirably!

Continuing along the back of the caravan site, and with the leader talking (!), we missed the path which would have taken us on the south side of Pendle Water to the bridge near Whitehough Outdoor Centre, and instead we followed the slighter longer path on the north side of the river to the same point.  Perhaps no one noticed!  There we sat on the bridge and had our elevenses.

By the time we got to Barley car park, the sun was out, and some of us were wishing we’d worn shorts.  The car park was full.  We escaped the crowds, and headed alongside Barley Hill, and dropped down to Lower Ogden Reservoir. We then retraced the steps of Tom’s walk a few weeks ago: up through the woods, and down towards Newchurch, where we had lunch in a sunny spot perched on the slopes above the village.

Ann reminded us about the Nutter connection at the church, and Ursula took advantage of the seating in front of the Nutter grave to have a snooze.  According to a leaflet produced by Visit Lancashire, the date on the grave is much too late to be Alice Nutter’s.

We walked on to Bull Hole Farm, and then up the hill towards Rigg of England (Rigg is ridge in Anglo Saxon).  At this point, we left The Lancashire Witches Way and we followed the ridge northeastwards, past Higher Spen Farm.  That route is well trodden by Rossy Ramblers, but not so the path from Noggarth, which took us through some interesting turnstiles on the way back into Barrowford.

Just before returning to the car, we stopped at the Fish Pass where we watched salmon leaping – a great end to a lovely walk.

Of course, we had tea and cakes in the cafe!

(Write up Gill, pics Tom)

Slideshow below but if you wish to a static view of the pictures all in one go, then click here.

There was some speculation as to the origin of Barrowford which lies ‘in its importance as a river crossing. During the Roman occupation it was on the route from Colne to Ribchester. The early history of Barrowford prior to the Norman Conquest is at best extremely patchy, with little or no evidence of human settlement. Indeed, the Domesday Book (written in 1086) records the district in which Barrowford is situated as ‘wastes’. These lands were to form part of the Hundred of Blackburnshire, which were handed to the Norman knight, Rodger de Poictou, who built Clitheroe Castle. The earliest record of Barrowford is within the Compotus (yearly reports), compiled in 1296 for Henry de Lacy, Lord of the Manor, and Earl of Lincoln. Barrowford, then known as Barouforde, was one of 29 vaccaries (cattle enclosures) owned by the Earl of Lincoln.’*

*From Barrowford Conservation Area Character Appraisal – Pendle Borough Council 2010

1 Comment

  1. Excellent write up of a good-looking walk, Gill. Tom made good use of the candid camera!

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