The Pule Hill pivot

stitched photo of Pule hill and hills in the area
Pule Hill on the left and sweeping to the right.. Deer Hill area in the distance where I started from (and walked right, out of the frame area to come round in a 3 hour arc to where this was taken.)

As I out was on a walk on Sunday, taking some photos (below) and musing over why Pule Hill is the shape it is, I felt a bit like the guy from Close Encounters – focusing on his mashed potato mountain. The ‘mountain’ in this case was said hill, I’m not sure what classification of hill it is (I’d need to check the exact height) but mountain it certainly isn’t. I’m not obsessed by it as such but I kept it pretty much in sight for the whole of the walk and used it as pivot to base an improvised route around.

Anyway, back to the walk. After a couple of (really nice) busy weekends / trips away, I’ve missed the hills and giving the dog a long trip out. I’ve also been really conscious that I’m heading up to Rum in a few weeks time and I need to be a LOT fitter for that.. so I headed out on sunday for a leg stretch. I vaguely planned to end up Pule Hill and see Simon Armitage’s sculpture / poem , which I only found out about recently.
That said : I only had about 3 hours spare – the afternoon held a pre-arranged trip over to my dad’s (but I’m going to do the 5 – 6 walk along parts of the Pennine Way to his place again soon) so doing a decent walk and getting up to the top was a bit ambitious, particularly as I started by heading in the opposite direction.

I started out heading out of the house, up the footpath behind us and as mentioned, in the opposite direction to Pule, as that’s the easiest way to gain height for me.. up toward (but not as far as) Deer Hill reservoir to meet the catchwater path there:

Deer Hll catchwater towards Pule
Pule Hill in the distance..

The path was strewn in places with loads of spawn : not sure if it was Frog, Toad, Newt , Moors Dragon – any eagle eyed blog readers know?

photo of Frog Toad Newt spawn
There seemed to be more on the path than in the adjacent catchwater!

We followed the path as it turned into the Heritage Trail, round to waymarker stone ‘number 9’. I still don’t have a definitive list or map to explain why these stones are in the specific positions they are. They seem to denote particular views (or historic events?) but I can’t find any info online or in leaflets that explains the spacing or location of them. Number 9 gives a great view over Butterley res across to Pule Hill though:

Heritage Trail Stone number 9 with a Pule Hill view
Heritage Trail Stone number 9 with a Pule Hill view

From here we headed south along the heritage Trail before we took the short and steep path down hill on our right to the Deer farm at Wessenden Lodge. The deer looked lovely in the sunshine, albeit in a fenced off space.
There was a short section walking back towards Marsden down the valley before we cut down a steep path on the left, which is the Pennine Way and then onto the paved section across the moors toward Swellands and Black Moss Reservoirs. This was pretty much the only part of the walk where we couldn’t see Pule Hill (had the mothership landed?! Quick! I had to get it back in view!! .. enough of the Close Encounters nonsense, sorry).

It was really tranquil on this section, the sun was out and thoughts of work/money worries (for another time) disappeared.. open spaces, wide skies and spring warmth kind of quieten the mind. Even the dog wasn’t pulling , less rabbit or hare scents maybe and certainly no sheep to feel compelled to chase (which is why she’s always on a harness and lead up there).

I grabbed some short ‘footage ‘ of the space up near Swellands.. gives you a feel for the area if you’ve never been there (the audio was poor so I added some music with Youtube’s new instant soundtrack thingy .. ever the geek):

Sweep across Swellands picking up Pule Hill

We cut around Swellands res and past another reservoir – Redbrook. Keeping that to my left I picked up a really faint track away from the well-worn path that seemed to aim straight to the bottom (south-facing) side of Pule. It got a little bit boggy in parts but we got to the base of Pule (and Mount Road) at which point I decided not to head up it but to complete the trip downhill and home.

I was running out of time, so the poetry stone and a general mooch around the top up there will have to wait.

Redbrook Pule view with Dog in photo
Brodie looking all prairie hound like , looking towards Pule

Turns out I wasn’t the only hiking blogger using Pule as a waymarker or pivot this weekend – have a read of Paul’s Walking blog.
We seemed to have circumnavigated oposote sides of Pule in circular walks .. doing a figure of eight and possibly at the same time.

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9 thoughts on “The Pule Hill pivot”

  1. If the spawn is in floating blobs, it’s frog; if in long threads, it’s toad; if little blobs stuck to the underside of leaves you are looking at newt.

  2. If the spawn is in floating blobs, it’s frog; if in long threads, it’s toad; if little blobs stuck to the underside of leaves you are looking at newt.


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