Hurst Green 09-11-2016 – Leader Mike

Hurst Green 09-11-2016 – Leader Mike

They say a week is a long time in politics (especially American politics), and the same clearly applies to walking; last week wall to wall sunshine, this week a winter wonderland!  But the start was pure autumn, as Mike led 23 of us north west away from the village and alongside Dean Brook through Mill Wood, with its lovely carpet of leaves, yet with plenty of leaves still on the trees.  After leaving the woods, we soon came to Greengore, a 14th century hunting lodge and grade 2 listed building, built in the time of Queen Anne.  Mike said it was visited by King Henry VI whilst hunting deer, and certainly a deer park is directly opposite.  It was recently sold for £1.2 million – at least that was the asking price.

From Greengore we climbed gently but steadily, soon coming into a delightful woodland area full of baby Christmas trees.  Here we began to see some snow on the ground, which increased as we climbed up onto Longridge Fell.  Here we turned westward through lovely snowy pine woodland to our first break at Spire Hill, with poor but interesting visibility over the valley to the north of us.

After the break we headed east to the trig point at  around 1150 feet – the highest point of the walk – and continued along delightfully snowy paths, where the winter wonderland tag was well justified.  Soon after Hare Hill, we turned south through a bleak, harvested area of the wood, soon finding evidence of some disgracefully untidy people, who had discarded dozens of beer cans in the wood.  Shame that we did not think to carry them away with us!  Whatever, we soon came to a disused quarry – now a picturesque lake – where some alms houses were built in 1906.  Mike said that for some reason they were moved and rebuilt in Hurst Green in 1946, and named Shireburn Cottages.  Soon after this, we were in green fields with no snow at all, and had lunch against a wall.  Close by in a garden was an interesting sandstone cross, thought to be of St. Paulinus.  This site says it is assumed to be ancient but that it is possibly a C19th replacement.

Thereafter it was back to autumn again, as we walked eastward to the River Hodder – carrying lots of water – and followed it pleasantly to Cromwell’s Bridge.  Rebuilt in 1562, the connection with Cromwell dates from 16th August 1648, when his 8,000-strong army passed over it. The Battle of Preston took place on the following day, when the Royalists were defeated.  But we were not defeated; we soldiered on along the Hodder, past the confluence of the Ribble and that of the Calder, past Hacking Hall and the bridge carrying Blackburn Council’s water pipes, finally leaving the river to climb muddily up to Hurst Green.  Refreshments were very nicely taken at Millie’s, to end a stonking snowy start for Mike as a leader for us.

(Pics & write up Arnold.  Appended here are the route stats and profile.)

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

3 Comments

  1. Tom Hughes

    Great first walk, Mike – and as Susan says, you’ve got something to live up to! Great pictures as usual, Arnold, with some fantastic colours.

  2. Beautiful pictures, Arnold. They capture the colours on what looked like a lovely walk on an unprepossessing day. The litter you show is awful….. sadly all too common these days.

  3. Susan Holden

    Wonderful first walk Mike. Two seasons in one. You have something to live up to now.
    Great photos Arnold loved the Autumn colours and winter wonderland.

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