Expeditions, Navigation, Guided Walks and Trekking

Doffcocker Lodge



Doffcocker Lodge, with Winter Hill and mast behind

Not far from our house and within easy strolling distance is Doffcocker Lodge. In this part of the world a lodge is where water is “lodged”, usually for use in a mill or factory.


Doffcocker is an old village on the outskirts of Bolton. It was an important stop on the turnpike to Preston. According to Wikipedia, the odd name is believed to be formed from the Celtic dubh meaning dark or black, and cocr meaning a winding stream, giving “dark winding stream”. Another (unlikely but amusing)  version is that it was named after a Scotsman who was passing through the area and had to cross the stream. Its waters were exceptionally high following heavy rain, so to keep his stockings (cockers, as they were known in Scotland) dry the man was obliged to “doff” them.

A similar version appears in an old book [4]

COCKERS, or COGGERS, properly half-boots made of untanned leather, or other stiff materials, and strapped under the shoe; but old stockings without feet, used as gaiters by hedgers and ploughmen, are often so called… In Lancashire the word is often used for stockings. There is a small place not far from Bolton, called Doff-Cocker, where, … it used to be the fashion for the country people who came from church or market to pull off their stockings and walk barefoot home.

In the 18th century, the village grew with the building of three mills and the water works that accompanied this. This small lodge was built in 1874 capturing the water from the “dark winding stream”.

GrebeDoffcocker Lodge and is now a nature reserve, home of semi-feral geese, Mute Swans, Black Headed Gulls, Moorhens, Coots and Mallards. More interesting are the Greater Crested Grebe and Goosander we saw today. The reed beds are a good hide for grasshopper warbler, willow warbler, reed bunting and reed warbler. These take some spotting and identification and were, of course, not yet here on this overcast February day.



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This entry was posted on February 26, 2016 by in Blog, Bolton, Out and About, West Pennine Moors and tagged , , , .
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