Mytholmroyd long 07-06-2017 – Leader Jean

Mytholmroyd long 07-06-2017 – Leader Jean

It was a walk of three halves today, as the long and short walks were together until noon, then Rosemary’s short walk group of 4 split off, to leave 19 to carry on with Jean for the full monty – and what a full monty it was!  The weather, which had been forecast to be dry but with potentially dangerous winds, was actually very sunny and increasingly warm, with the wind only being an issue at Stoodley Pike.  As you will see from the profile, Jean took us so gradually upwards that the ascent was hardly noticeable!

From the traffic-clogged road at Mytholmroyd, Jean led us south through woodland and alongside the brook to Cragg Vale, where we took our coffee break.  The adjacent information boards told us that in the 1800s there were up to 11 cotton mills here (not wool).  The waterwheel we saw replaced one that was used by a paper mill that later turned to cotton.  Nearby was the Hinchliffe Arms, named after the owner of one of the mills.  As we continued, we saw the splendidly ornate gatehouse to Cragg Hall, the gatehouse having been designed by Edgar Wood, apparently one of Britain’s most prominent Arts & Crafts architects.  Roger P told me that this architect designed a number of buildings in Middleton, where Roger lives.  We were now heading west on the Calderdale Way, with the short group splitting off just before Withens Clough Reservoir.  We more or less walked parallel with the edge of the reservoir to Withens Gate, where we encountered a strange stone inscribed ‘Te Deum’, which is elaborated upon here.

Shortly after this stone, we turned north east along the edge of an escarpment, with lovely views over the valley to the west, and then to Stoodley Pike itself, where we ate lunch sheltering from the wind in the lee of this monument, the second to be erected here, as the first one fell to the ground in 1854, forty years after it was built to commemorate the defeat of Napoleon’s armies at the Battle of Leipzig, the largest battle of the Napoleonic wars.  Then it was east and north on the Pennine Way, dropping to Swillington, with incredibly clear and excellent views, well recorded by Roger.  Continuing to drop down Kilnshaw Lane, we carefully negotiated our way past a herd of cows and calves that were clearly not very happy about our presence – but no damage done.  This took us down and across the railway line and River Calder to the Rochdale Canal, which we followed back to the cars.  We met up with the short group at the Blue Teapot café, where we were smilingly served with very nice refreshments, ending a wonderful walk, thanks to Jean, and to Roger for the excellent photos.

(Write up Arnold, pics Roger P.  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.

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