Expeditions, Navigation, Guided Walks and Trekking
Last week, a cold wind blew across the lower edges of Winter Hill, so the afternoon walk kept to the fields below Two Lads. My copy of Daniel Calderbanks book “Underground Above Horwich” arrived today, so I was out looking for some of the sights he talks about. This day it was hunting for the entrance to Wildersmoor Colliery.
To get there, I took a roundabout walk, starting from Wilderswood car park. Going down Old Rake road, Luna dog got confused as from there we usually go up to the top of the hill to Two Lads, but not today. This very old road, probably pre-medieval drops down towards Horwich and Brink’s Row cottages.
Going back around 150 years this area was busy with Pits, Bleaching Works, Quarries, Farms and the Pipeworks. Today its quiet except for cottages making their gardens ready for winter.
We followed this old path to Hodginson’s Farm, and then across the field to the hamlet of Wilderswood Farm and the old Manor House. According to an old plan I have this was the site of a proposed Tile works, although looking at the ground, I think it may not have been built.
Next was Ormston’s Farm, which has an old lane leading up to Two Lads, another very old track, now split by Georges Lane. Behind the farm the wet field had an attempt at improving the drainage by installing some old Crankshaws pipes. Some mining investigators suspect that this may have been the top of an old mine and water is coming out here. Good to see the local pipework though.
From the farm, the track goes along Ormstons Lane beside the tramway between the Klondyke tunnel to the Wildersmoor colliery and Crankshaw’s Pipeworks. The lane runs deep into the field, suggesting an old roadway from Horwich and Blackrod up over Two Lads and Winter Hill to Belmont. Probably the route taken by George Henderson on that fateful day in 1838 when he was murdered up on the hill on his way back to Blackburn. We headed up the path to Pike Cottage/Sportsman Inn and back along Georges lane to the car.
A bright sunny evening with a spectacular sunset.
I’ll cover more on the Tramway in another blog, mainly because the cold day had drained the battery in the phone, so I lost my map, camera and podcast all in one go.