Wednesday, 18th November 2009

             

            

 

Walk: Riley Green Radio Transmitters, River Darwen, Hoghton Bottoms, Hoghton Tower, Lane Side Farm, Hatchwood Farm, Millstone Farm, Trinity Church (Hoghton) and Leeds Liverpool Canal
Start Point: The Boatyard (Pub/Restaurant) Riley Green Grid Reference: SD 624 250
Distance: 5.5 miles Ascent: 500 feet
Time: 3 hours    
Weather: Wet, wet, wet.
Comments: Flooded rivers, flooded fields and a canal! What a way to test your waterproof gear. It rained or drizzled most of the way round and the fields were saturated after recent and very heavy overnight rain. However, twenty one hardy folk ventured out into the rain. Our leader was Judith Kirby who was assisted by Joan Harmon. Leaving The Boatyard we joined the Leeds Liverpool canal for a few yards before turning left to pass two radio transmitters (Radio Lancashire) on the way to the A6061. Crossing the A6061 we then followed a path down to the River Darwen. (Sometimes referred to as The Dirty Darren). The River was in full spate and nearly overflowing its banks. Even the ducks had to find less turbulent waters. The fast flowing river made a terrible din as it roared over a weir that was built many years ago to provide water to power water wheels at two mills. The mills produced yarn for weavers who lived in nearby cottages. Spanning the river near to the weir is a railway bridge carrying the east Lancashire railway. It was constructed in 1826 and consists of three arches towering 116 feet above the river. A mason’s mark could still be seen in the stone work as we passed by. The name Hoghton is probably Saxon and means “the township at the bottom of the hill”. On the left as we started to climb towards the railway was a house called “The Old Counting House”. This conjures up thoughts of nursery rhymes, but could it be where a mill owner counted out the amount of yarn given out to local weavers? Crossing a railway footpath crossing we arrived at the rear of Hoghton Towers. Now hidden by trees is a former quarry at the rear of Hoghton Tower. The quarry provided stone for buildings, houses and roads in the local area. Skirting the tower, a murky vista of Preston could be seen in the distance. Hoghton Tower is a 16th centaury fortified mansion and stands 560 feet above sea level. It was here that King James 1 in 1612 knighted a delicious piece of beef. Sirloin it has been ever since! Walking down the long drive to the tower we then re-crossed the A6061 to follow a path from Lane Side Farm via Hatchwood Farm to Millstone Farm. Here we started to climb up towards Windmill Hill before turning in the direction of Trinity Church. A number of Cuthbert de Hoghtons are buried there. The last leg of the walk was to Sandy Lane and then by field path to the Leeds Liverpool canal and The Boatyard for a well earned meal. Thank you Judith and Joan for a wet but enjoyable walk.

Too wet for photos today!

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