Textile Trail 14-01-2018 – Leader Dougie

Textile Trail 14-01-2018 – Leader Dougie

A cheerful group o 8 ramblers ascended Alder Bank from Kay Street in Rawtenstall, where a group photo was taken.  The mill in the background was Ilex Mill, a cotton mill built in 1856.  Soon we arrived at a new housing development, which was the original site of Whitehead Brothers Higher Mill, built in 1824, and attacked in the power loom riots of 1826.  Down in the valley bottom was the site of David Whitehead’s Lower Mill, which closed in 1967 ad was demolished in 1980.

We then walked up Springside to Hurst Lane and took the bridleway at the back of Rawtenstall Cemetery, where the oldest war memorial in England is situated.  Very soon we were walking on a cleared footpath to Hollins Lane, and then onto Leebrook Lane at the side of the River Limey.  The next mill was Leebrook Mill, a woollen mill dating back to the 18th century.  From the main Burnley Road, the group ascended Fox Hill up to Higher Constable Lee, where in the 14th century the Cistercian monks of Whalley Abbey gained permission from the Constable of Chester to graze their flocks.

After a steady walk along the hillside, we descended to Rush Bed bridge, where the old cobbled road gave access to Sunnyside Printworks, which closed in 1936.  Crawshaw Hall was the next port of call, built by the Brooker family in 1831, when Baron Crawshaw was head of the family.  He was a wealthy man, who owned Sunnyside Printworks, quarries, and property in the village.  He was also chief benefactor of St John the Evangelist Church, built between 1890-1892.

Ascending the rough track up Pinner Lane, we came to the quarry on Pinner Heights, where some of the best stone kerbs came from.  We then walked down to the end of the Haslingden turnpike road, built in 1795.  Passing the Friends’ Meeting House in Crawshawbooth, we came to Rhodeson Brothers Britannia Mill, a 19th century spinning mill, where generations of local families worked.  Further up the valley, we came to the site of Stoneholme Mill, and then to Stoneholme Terrace , with mill workers’ cottages.

After this we climbed the ‘stairway to heaven’, consisting of quite a few stone steps, taking us to Church Street, after which we walked up Driving Gate to Goodshaw Lane and the parish church.  A sheltered spot in the ruins of Folly Clough Mill – originally a felt mill – was where we took our lunch break.  After lunch we dropped down onto Folly Lane and then along to Bonfire Hill above Crawshawbooth.  We then climbed up to Heightside, bring us to Chapel Hill.  From here we were on our return journey, descending down Hurst Lane, where we passed the 17th century Quakers’ graveyard.  From there it was on to Waingate, where the farmhouse dates back to 1855.  At the bottom of the lane, an old weaver’s cottage was passed, before returning to Kay Street and the start of the Textile Trail.

Refreshments were taken at Mr Fitzpatrick’s, which was established in 1899, and is Britain’s last original temperance bar.

Write up Dougie, pics Diana & Dougie.  The overall distance was 7.75 miles.

If you wish to see a static view of the pics all in one go, then click here.

There is a link to the slideshow here.  You will need to click within the black page that opens up to see the show – but at least it is full screen!

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