Wednesday, 3rd November 2010




Walk: Catterall, Calder Bridge, Dimples, Kirkland Hall and Churchtown/Kirkland
Start Point: The Horns Inn Grid Reference: SD 483 429
Distance: 5.3 miles Ascent: 135 feet
Weather: A dull Autumn day

Kirkland is a civil parish located on the banks of the River Wyre midway between Preston and Lancaster in the county of Lancashire.  It is also the historic name of the village of Churchtown within the parish.  Kirkland forms part of the Wyre district.  It has a long history centred on its parish church, St Helen’s, once known as the Cathedral of the Fylde.

The church includes:-

·         a lepers window;

·         a grave marker for the village’s only victim of the Black Plague;

·         a large rafter, once known as the “new beam”, supposedly presented to the parish by King Henry VIII at the time of the reformation.

On a grey day the first time leader led her group of twenty nine through the old village of Kirkland, passing St Helen’s Church prior to crossing the River Wyre.  Whilst crossing the river, Catterall Hall could be seen to the right. Turning east the leader took her group upstream of the River Wyre to cross the busy A6 to continue along the Wyre to its confluence with the River Calder.  She then followed the River Calder to Calder Bridge and performed “Crossing Duties” before using highways to reach the Lancaster canal at Dimples.  Leaving Dimples Lane the route then followed the canal towards Lancaster.  The canal is carried over the River Wyre by a 34 foot high aqueduct that was engineered by John Rennie.  The aqueduct was first used in 1797.  Shortly after the aqueduct it was intended to turn west and use part of the Wyre Way known as “Many Pads” to reach the A6.  Unfortunately recent heavy rains had caused pond-ing at a stile and it was impossible to pass through.  Returning to the canal the quick thinking leader took the group a little further north to use Kepple Lane as an alternative route to the A6.  Back on track the group left the A6 at Cross House Farm heading for Kirkland Hall.  Alas the heavy rains had also caused flooding in a field gateway.  No Problem!  The leader with help from one of the more mature members placed timbers in strategic positions to enable people to practice their balancing and acrobatic skills when regaining dryer ground.  By this time there was moisture in the air as well but with not far to go the group made it safely back to the Horns Inn for a well earned meal.  Well done leader.  We look forward to your next ramble.


Scroll down to see photos of the walk

The leader's debut


Entering Churchtown or Kirkland . . .


and passing a monument


Garstang St Helen's Church at Churchtown . . .


and the rear of the church


On the Wyre Way


About to cross the River Wyre


Catterall Hall


Another form of leisure


The confluence of the Rivers Wyre and Calder


Beside the River Calder . . .


and another form of leisure


The leader on crossing duty




For sale




A hidden message perhaps


The Preston to Kendal canal at Garstang


Some information




Canal basin at Garstang


Wayside marker


Power for the cheese makers perhaps


No turning back here


Bridge builders


Same church, same day, different time

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