Wednesday, 23rd February 2011




Walk: Dinckley Hall, Brockhall Village, Hacking Hall, Old Langho, Dinckley Grange, Copster Green and Marles Wood
Start Point: Marles Wood Car Park, Salesbury (2.0 m headroom) Grid Reference: SD 675 356
Distance: 8.25 miles Ascent: 680 feet
Time: 5.25 hours    
Weather: Warm and overcast. Some rain with a half hour of sunshine just after lunch.
Comments: This was referred to as a “Hippo Walk” because of the old song about a hippopotamus wallowing in glorious mud. Thirty people set out from Marles Wood car park to walk beside the river Ribble in the direction of Dinckley Bridge. The bridge allows access over the river to Hurst Green, Stoneyhurst College and the Ribble Way. Leaving the river near to Dinckley Hall the group took to field paths and walked through the rain in the general direction of the former Brockhall Hospital. On the way two deer gracefully sped away across the fields.

According to Wikipedia, Brock hall Hospital was once Europe’s largest mental institution. It was built in 1904 as an Inebriate Women’s Reformatory, later becoming a hospital for people with learning disabilities. The hospital was closed in 1992 and a gentleman who had earlier bought the lease on the hospital, started to develop the site replacing the hospital with a gated community, which now contains 400 homes, as well as Blackburn Rovers training ground and a hotel.

Taking a path to the north of Brockhall Village and past Blackburn Rovers training ground the group descended a slippery slope towards the River Ribble. Unfortunately, loose leaves over wet ground caused a number of people to slither in an ungainly manner towards the river. Recovering from the slides and tumbles the party continued along the River Ribble to its confluence with the Calder before turning to pass Hacking Hall. The hall, a Listed Building, is early C17 and is constructed of sandstone rubble with a stone slate roof. Continuing in the rain towards Old Langho the group was led through what was considered to be the longest, wettest and muddiest field ever. Arriving at St Leonard’s Church at Old Langho (built in 1557) the group stopped for lunch and took time to browse around the church and graveyard. It would appear that a number of people from the nearby Brockhall Hospital are interred there as there is a large square monument, to the rear of the church, stating names and grave numbers. After lunch the weather improved and the sun shone for about a half hour as the group headed for “Aspinalls” and Dinckley Brook. Leaving the brook the party ascended to Dinckley Grange on their way to Copster Hall and the A59. Passing through Park Gate on the last leg of the walk the party was treated to more mud and sodden fields before arriving at the start point, relieved to be able to change out of very muddy boots and gaiters.

Scroll down to see photos of the walk

Marles Wood before the rain


By the River Ribble on the way to Dinckley Bridge


Dinckley Bridge providing access over the River Ribble to Hurst Green and the Ribble Way


Blackburn Rovers practice ground complete with Lifeguard (under brolly)


The rear of Hacking Hall


An unusual grave


The rear of St Leonards Church (built 1557), Old Langho . . .


and the front of the church


Approaching Dinckley Grange


Two Christmas escapees

Return to 2011 Diary                                                                 Return to top