Wednesday, 7th March 2018

Walk: Kettledrum Inn at Mereclough, to Hurstwood, Worsthome, back to Hurstwood and the Brum Valley then return to Mereclough.
Start Point: The Kettledrum Inn, Cliviger, near Burnley Grid Reference: SD 873 306 
Distance: 4.6 miles Ascent: 500 feet
Time: 2.75 hours
Weather: Fine with sunny intervals, temperature about 7c

Twelve walkers negotiated their way to the Kettledrum Inn to the west of Burnley.  Thankfully the roads were clear with only a smattering of snow along the verges.  The landlord provided coffee or tea, with nibbles on our arrival, for a small donation to charity.  Very welcome.    The weather, although a little chilly to start with, was benign so Brian set off with gusto to explore his neck of the woods. 

We took footpaths and farm tracks, ascending the ‘stairway to heaven’ to eventually reach the hamlet of Hurstwood where Brian informed us of the history of some of the listed buildings, all built in indestructible millstone grit. The oldest house faced us, a lovely manor house, over 500 years old, the Tattersall’s House, in early Jacobean style, dating from when Henry VIII was on the throne! It is thought it may originally have been intended as a chapel or school.  The Spencer House was the home of the Elizabethan poet, Edmund Spencer (not sure which this one was so I did not take a photograph). Hurstwood Hall is slightly newer, 1579, and was built by one of the Townley’s from the nearby estate. Although modernised inside it still retains many original features and is now a Guest House. Ivy Cottage, possibly a former stable from the late 16th century, has mullioned windows on the upper floor. We spent a delightful time here as we returned this way.

Our walk continued, rising gradually, up the side of the Brun Valley, along field paths. What a pleasant change from walking on hard road surfaces. We had excellent vistas over the moorlands towards several wind farms. We reached the village of Worsthorne, with beautiful buildings surrounding the Church Square. Pride of place is the church of St. John the Evangelist, constructed 1833. It was locked unfortunately but we took time to look at the interesting wrought iron ‘work implements’ on the railings. As the Bay Horse was closed we took advantage of their picnic tables to have our break, serenaded by many rooks in the neighbouring trees.

For a short time, the going got tough!! Quite fun really, slipping, sliding and sinking into the snow drift which had collected along the path. The way opened up to cross sunny fields, the banks of snow enhancing the landscape. The return leg along the Brun Valley was particularly beautiful. We arrived back, via the main road to avoid mud and wall stiles, to a very busy pub, a good sign of the quality of the food. We weren’t disappointed.  Thank you Brian, and his cohorts, for an excellent, pleasant and interesting walk.

The Kettledum Inn provided a warm welcome

Named after a Derby Winner in 1861 and once owned by John Harrison's (Poulton) grand father

Tattersall's house in Hurstwood.

Hurstwood Hall

Now a Guest house

A Stick Man by the wayside

Ivy Cottage

The Village of Worsthorne with Hurstwood

Spring flowers

Sunday School, now a Rest Home over looking one side of the Green

St John the Evangelist Church

Lych Gate

Neat driveway through the church yard

Ornate Iron work

The Bay Horse also overlooks the Green and provided a pleasant resting place

Only a portion of the Rookery

Great fun!

Enjoying field walking with snowdrifts still to melt

Are these the 'pretty' Alpacas?

The beautiful Brun Valley

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