The South Pennines Walk and Ride Festival has been going on for the last few days but what with work, the Yorkshire 3 Peaks and the Mikron Theatre boatathon I haven’t been able to get to anything until this event.
On Saturday I joined some other walkers for the ‘Marsden Moor Heritage Trail South’ hike. And very conveniently for Brodie Dog and I, it started in, well, Marsden. And it would shed some light, I hoped, on the history of a trail I’ve walked a few times but not really genned up on, in terms of the history of the area and why certain water-catches or paths etc are where they are. I like a bit of context so this looked like a great walk to join.
The bonus, it turned out, was that apart from great weather, which is always a bonus in Marsden, we would be shown the route of a Roman Road (and what remains of it) close to where I’ve walked loads of times.
Anyway, back to the walk. It started at 10 from Marsden train station and the walk leader was a lady called Anthea from The National Trust.
[Actually – slipping into social media mode for a sec : Marsden Moor twitter account hasn’t been profiling the events at all , even the one featuring one of their own folk , what gives? Seems a shame not to cross-promote stuff.]
Anthea was joined by Alan (I think that’s right..) who is a local historian and also involved in the Castleshaw (just over the border in that there Lancashire) Roman Fort group. Between them both they had lots of facts and figures about the industrial (and pre-industrial) history of the moors area and were really happy to share what they knew. There were about fifteen or so of us on the walk, nineteen if I include the four-legged attendees. Although I only got to chat to a couple of people, they were a nice bunch and the dogs were all in sociable mood too. Brodie spent a lot of the walk making eyes at a big Collie called Ben, he was more interested in playing fetch with his frisbee though, ah well.
One lady I got chatting to had black water rafted in New Zealand, done mountain hikes there too and all (I think) since she retired, an interesting lady to chat to.
The walk itself: we headed out of Marsden via Bank Bottom Mill and up the reservoir steps to get to the base of Wessenden and then walked up to join the heritage path above the valley.
The rest of the day described a route up to the deer farm at Wessenden then across to the Pennine Way and back round to the base of Pule Hill, where part of the Roman Road intersects. I’ll let the photo captions describe the (roughly) 5 hour walk:
I learnt quite a lot on this hike (including things about the Turnpike Road/s which I won’t go into just now) and if I’d had time would have done some more walks during the festival. One mystery remains though, why the Heritage Trail stones are placed specifically where they are and numbered in the sequence they are. Seems the thinking behind landscape constructions from Blind Jack of Knaresborough (he of turnpike road fame) and The Roman Army (both covered here) is easier to discern 🙂
But the ‘discovery’ (as in new to me) of the Roman Road, along with great weather and a nice bunch of people, made it a great jaunt out, thanks Pennine Prospects / Walk and Ride festival.
- Hiking A Roman Road In England (gadling.com)