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Sunday, 30 October 2011

Tunstead Quarry & Wormhill

It was drizzling when we set off at 6:30 and still drizzling when we arrived close to Tunstead Quarry at 7:30. Well you cant win em all.
We drove down a one way track from Tunstead and ended up parking by the roadside close to a couple of houses in urgent need of repair. There were only 2 houses here but they had a telephone box and a letterbox.
Is this the smallest community to have a letterbox and telephone box.

A rare GR letterbox
We followed the footpath off in the direction of Tunstead Quarry.
Geoff emerging from a blast shelter on the edge of Tunstead Quarry.

Crushing Plant at Tunstead Quarry
 Tunstead Quarry started to operate in 1929 and by the 1970's was the largest limestone quarry in europe being 2km long and 1km wide. It is the largest producer of high quality indusrial limestone in Europe and produces 5.5 million tonnes of limestone annually.
We had a bit of trouble finding this Stoop W15 but eventually spotted it built into the wall.
Stoop W15 built into the wall

Rob & Ike negotiating the barbed wire

Beware of the blasting!!!

Breakfast time at the Wormhill Zoo
 We had breakfast near the James Brindley memorial in Wormhill.
James Brindley was born in Tunstead in 1716 and became one of the country's foremost canal builders. He constructed the Bridgewater Canal in 1761.
James Brindley Memorial

Roadside entrance to the James Brindley Memorial

Wormhill Village Stocks
We walked down to St. Margarets Church and met the curator Barry Peirson who very kindly opened the church for us. He told us some of the history of the village and people including the demise of  W.L.G.Bagshawe.
W.L.G. Bagshawe was the local land owner born 1828, he was a renouned rower and in 1848 won the Diamond Challenge Sculls at Henley Royal Regatta, the following year he was part of the team that won the boat race for Cambridge.
In 1851 he succeeded to his father's estate at Wormhill. He was killed in 1854 by poachers when he went to deal with them after they were caught netting the River Wye at Millers Dale on his land.
St. Margarets Church Wormhill

Inside St. Margarets Church

Barry Peirson

Final resting place for W.L.G. Bagshaw
We left Wormhill and set off for Hay Dale where Stoop W2 was located.
Stoop W2 in Hay Dale

 This was another stoop that was hard to find. The GPS told us we were right on top of it, but it was elusive until Rob found it.
It was covered by the grass and we had to clear it away for photo's. While we were there a trio of walkers came up the track and stopped to talk to us. They were aware of stoops and had seen several in the past during there walks.

Finally did you spot RAMBO in one of the pics.

Well Done

Monday, 24 October 2011

Cutthroat Bridge & the Moscar stoops

This week we were heading to Cutthroat Bridge which is just north east of Ladybower reservoir on the A57, so it was another early start.
We arrived on station at exactly 7:30am, well it was still dark so we sat in the car for a few minutes and waited until the light improved.
We set off down the road from the car park and crossed over Cutthroat Bridge to get onto the track.
Cutthroat Bridge is apparently named after a murder which happened 400 years ago. The victim was discovered a short distance away from the site of the present bridge and was taken to Bamford Hall where he died. The present bridge was built in 1821 and there has been another murder there just a few years ago where the victim was beheaded. The culprits from Sheffield were caught and charged.
Cutthroat Bridge
 Once over the bridge we followed the track which was initially quite steep, we crossed over a stream which comes down from Highshaw Clough. We thought there would have been a slab bridge here in the packhorse days. You could hear the grouse nearby but only occasionally did they take flight so we could see them. When up close they really are quite loud.
Brook from Highshaw Clough

Geoff climbing down the rocks
When the track levelled out it was a short walk to the first Stoop D3 which is just a small stoop adjacent to a wall. This was about a hundred feet off the coordinates shown in the Stoop Book but easy to find.
Stoop D3 on the right

Rob taking a snap

Ike is really laid back and relaxed!!

D3 - Sheffeild Road 7M
After a few pics we set off towards Moscar House Farm, this part of the track is an old packhorse route which was formerly called Mortimer Road. Again there were lots of birds about including a flock of starlings which did there formation flight before landing in a tree. Although I asked Ike to be quiet he somehow disturbed them but I managed to get a quick snap as they took off.
We arrived at Moscar House Farm and met the farmer who told us we could go through his farmyard. We stopped and chatted for a while and he showed us into one of his buildings which he said were the stables when the packhorse route was in use.

Starlings coming off the tree

Looking south from Moscar House Farm

Who's looking at you?
At the top of the track we crossed over a road and met a twitcher stationed there with bino’s and a chart. He told us he was recording the species of birds coming through on there migration. Apparently this part of the county is a corridor where most of the birds filter through on there journey south.
We carried on towards our second stoop D4 this was a steady walk uphill which gave us some nice views towards Ladybower. We found the stoop OK, another tall pillar with inscriptions on every side.
Ike at stoop D4

Security camera!!

Ike's got his ear stuck to the stoop!!

D4 with Moscar Lodge in the distance

Ike Jim & Rob at stoop D4
A couple of nice pics here especially Ike hiding behind the stoop and a mysterious hand holding a camera. We think this was the security camera to catch Stoopologists when they chalk the inscriptions!!
After stoop D4 we looked for Moscar Cross also known as Humblestone Cross, but apparently it doesn’t exist any more. There are supposedly some stones which formed the base of the cross adjacent to a stile near Moscar Farm.
Rob & Ike at Moscar Lodge

Weather vane at Moscar Lodge

Moscar Lodge
 We strolled past Moscar Lodge and onto the main road and headed back to the car.
Route 66 it ain't but you can see Win Hill & Lose Hill

Another view towards Win Hill

Stoop D3 across the valley from the A57

Noisy Grouse on the rocks

Rambo having a snack & drink back at the car.
Total distance this week was only 3.7 miles, a nice walk but the early start meant the light was very poor for getting decent images.
My favourite pic this week is the tree converted to B & W.
Autumn at Moscar House Farm


Monday, 17 October 2011

Two Dales & Beeley Moor

After last weeks route march we thought we should have an easy walk this week.
We started off at the usual time of 6:30am and decided next week it would be a later start of 7:00am.
When we arrived at Two Dales dawn was just breaking. We parked up in the village and headed up the hill onto an old packhorse track to Stoop E19 Which is now in use as a gatepost having been relocated from its original position. It was only just over 1/2 mile to the stoop but its all uphill AS USUAL, its a rough track with a lot of loose material and well worn.
Never the less when we got there we were rewarded with a great dawn red sky and mist down in the valley.
We took a few pics and Geoff filled in the inscriptions with chalk to make the writing stand out better.
Stoop E19 in the dawn light

A view down towards Two Dales
Another view of stoop E19
The 3 images above are all HDR images using Photomatrix and Photoshop.

The trip downhill to the car was a lot easier and in decent light with some great views over the valley.
We decided to have a drive around to some of the stoops that are close together and generally easy access from the road.
We drove up to Beeley Moor and the first stoop up there was E17 just by the roadside.
Stoop E17 showing the split in the top.

Stoop E17

Geoff getting close up of inscriptions

Jim Rob & Ike at Stoop E17
From E17 we went off to Stoop E16 which is just a few yards off the road in the Beeley triangle. This stoop has a modern stone block alongside it.

Ike chalking in the inscriptions on Stoop E16 Beeley Moor

HDR image of Stoop E16 with the modern block alongside.
From E16 it was only 1/2 mile up the road to E15. We just parked on the grass verge and had to climb over a wall with a layer of barbed wire, very carefully. Once over the wall it was a slog through the bracken, quite high and wet.
Another trek through the jungle to get to Stoop E15

Stoop E15

Stoop E15

Ike watching very carefully. Ouch!!!
After E15 we went back to the Beeley triangle for breakfast. Beeley triangle is very popular with twitchers, there's all sorts of birds come through this area in the autumn & spring.
After breakfast we were off to the next Stoop E22 on the edge of Beeley Moor again just at the roadside.

Stoop E22 coloured green with micro organisms

E22 stands at a junction and is easy to see.

Even Rambo came out to have a look

Rambo got stuck in the top of an old telegraph pole and had to be rescued.
The next stoop E24 Geoff had already visited and this was not the run of the mill stoop.
It had been removed a lot of years previously and is now used as a lintel stone in the eaves of a farmhouse. We got permission to photograph it from the owner a very nice lady who told us some history about the farm, now called Darley Forest Grange which was formerly called Moor Farm. It dates back to 1500 but had to be substantially rebuilt in 1784.
There was a fire some years ago and the stoop was incorporated into the wall.
Stoop E24 in the eaves of  Darley Forest Grange.

Darley Forest Grange

Owner of  Darley Forest Grange with the crew.

Earnest Tyford with his 3 1/2 pound potato
While we were at the farm Earnest Tyford showed us an enormous potato he had grown which weighed in at 3 1/2 pounds. According to Earnest there is a ghost in the farmhouse and is said to haunt the cellar.
After the farmhouse we went off to Hopton to Stoop W12 to get some up to date pics.

Geoff & Ike chalking the inscriptions on W12.

Stoop W12 this is what its like to be famous. The paparazzi get everywhere!!
From Hopton we went off to Alport Stone in search of the last one of the day, stoop W13. This is almost covered in gorse bushes and very difficult to see from the path.
Alport Stone is a 20 foot high pillar of gritstone and was acquired by the national trust in 1930. It was the first acquisition by the NT of a scenic nature in Derbyshire.

Ike & Geoff at gorse covered  stoop W13

Geoff with Alport Stone in the background.

Some great views over the Ecclesbourne Valley
From W13 we headed home via Dalley lane in Belper where there is an old mile stone outside of Field Cottage. It is beginning to crumble but you can see some of the inscription. Not known how old this is.
Old mile post on Dalley Lane Belper
That's it for this week - my favourite pic below.
Stoop E19 - a combination of flash & HDR