BAXTON FELL & BURN FELL from WOODHOUSE LANE

 


Summary

Date - 30th August 2015 Distance - 6.5 miles
Ascent -
800ft
Map - OL41 Start point - Woodhouse Lane/Hornby Road (SD 6922 5483

 

Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Baxton Fell 1539 469 SD 6719 5602
Burn Fell 1415 431 SD 6739 5354

 

Preface

All was well, with the arrival of Shaun, Grizzly and Little Eric with the tea and cakes.

"I'll get the mugs and plates", called out Southey, putting the iPad down.

Then Tetley assisted Shaun in filling the mugs and passing them round.

"Little Eric has made chocolate caramel shortbread", announced Grizzly. "While I have done some of the peach and apricot slice."

"Ooh yummy", called out Southey taking a piece of each.

"What were you looking at on the iPad?", asked Little Eric.

"Checking the diary for the weekend. Dad is at the Lifeboat shop on Saturday. The weather is good for Sunday, so let's hope we can get a walk in."

"Better get our thinking caps on then", responded Grizzly.

Picking up his piece of caramel shortbread, Southey suddenly froze, exclaiming, "where's Allen! Tea belly and cake stuffer that he is, it is not like him to miss out."

"Don't worry", laughed Tetley he can smell tea a mile off."

"I would think we will be walking in the Bowland Fells again", said Shaun, "but just a case of deciding which to do next."

"No need", was the reply as the whirlwind that was Allen ran into the room. "Dad has decided for us. We are going to get Baxton Fell and Burn Fell bagged."

"That's great", cheered Little Eric.

"Here's your cake and tea", said Tetley, handing him the steaming mug and plate.

"Thanks pal, I was gasping for a cuppa", replied Allen.

"You don't change" responded Tetley, letting out a bellow of laughter.

"The cakes are scrumptious, pals", said Allen after clearing his plate. Then he went on, "Dad has said that he wants to set off quite early on Sunday, as the parking is limited, to ensure we get a spot."

"No problem", replied Shaun. "It will not be as early as some of the starts in the past. Roll on Sunday."

 

The Walk

We made sure we were up early and all lent a paw in packing the picnic, which was safely stowed in Allen's rucksack.

Dad had his gear loaded, and by about 08:00 we were backing out of the drive. The day was cloudy, but there was no wind that made a change after the last few days, so pleasant walking weather.

Having done the reccy last weekend Dad knew exactly where to go, but this time to the very end of Woodhouse Lane, where a gate bars progress on to the track known as the Hornby Road.

"So now we have been to both ends of this track", remarked Tetley.

For the sake of clarification, the other end is at High Salter Farm, near where we had parked for the climb to Mallowdale Pike, just over a month ago.

"There seems to be enough room to park in that rough pull-in just beyond the gate", said Dad. This was soon accomplished after he had driven just a little way up the track to turn round for departure later.

Dad was soon ready and with us safely tucked in his rucksack, he strode off along the track, very soon reaching a signposted junction.

"So, our route out is right", said Shaun. "That rather rougher track signed Dunsop Head, will be the return path at the end."

"Look", called out Allen, "there's another of the poignant memorials to airmen whose planes crashed around here during WW2."

The track was surfaced for a good distance as we passed through gates, one being metal and locked with a heavy chain and padlock to stop motorised traffic that not allowed along here.

After the initial climb the path swung left and beautiful Croasdale opened up with the hillsides purple with heather and this single building known as the House of Croasdale.

"That would once have been a shepherds hut from the walls creating numerous sheepfolds", remarked Tetley. Further searching on the Internet, confirmed this and the fact that it had in the fairly recent past been restored by United Utilities, who own the land.

This is a really lonely and unspoilt valley, just so so peaceful today and when Dad stopped, there was just total silence.

"I feel could be the last person on earth!", whispered Dad. "So good for the soul."

Up and down we walked on the track stretching away before us towards the long defunct quarry.

A dip can be seen, descending to New Bridge. This road follows the route of the Roman Road from Ribchester to Lancaster, so has been in use for over 2000 years. The land is owned by United Utilities, who we presume installed at some time this modern bridge, with thoughtfully small pavements either side!

Looking ahead to the distant brow, Little Eric remarked, "there is something white shining out."

Well as we eventually climbed to this corner we saw that is was a stone with an inscription 'Witches 400'.

This commemorates the 400th anniversary of the Pendle Witches, who were tried and executed at Lancaster Castle in 1612. Amongst them was Elizabeth Device whose name can be seen inscribed on the stone, and this on the top sloping surface. More can be found at the website Lancashire Witches 400.

This is a verse from the poem 'The Lancashire Witches', written by Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, for this project, and is inscribed on the back of the stone -

One voice for ten dragged this way once
by superstition, ignorance.
Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

Witch: female, cunning, manless, old,
daughter of such, of evil faith;
in the murk of Pendle Hill, a crone.

Here, heavy storm-clouds, ill-will brewed,
over fields, fells, farms, blighted woods.
On the wind’s breath, curse of crow and rook.

From poverty, no poetry
but weird spells, half-prayer, half-threat;
sharp pins in the little dolls of death.

At daylight’s gate, the things we fear
darken and form. That tree, that rock,
a slattern’s shape with the devil’s dog.

Something upholds us in its palm-
landscape, history, place and time-
and, above, the same old witness moon

below which Demdike, Chattox, shrieked,
like hags, unloved, an underclass,
badly fed, unwell. Their eyes were red.

But that was then- when difference
made ghouls of neighbours; child beggars,
feral, filthy, threatened in their cowls.

Grim skies, the grey remorse of rain;
sunset’s crimson shame; four seasons,
centuries, turning, in Lancashire,

away from Castle, Jury, Judge,
huge crowd, rough rope, short drop, no grave;
only future tourists who might grieve.

'Lancashire Witches' Poem © Carol Ann Duffy, commissioned by Green Close

"You will know about this Dad", said Southey, "But something for us to look up and read about when we get home."

Just beyond the stone a grassy track went off left, Shaun saying, "this is our route up the fell."

This climbed steadily passing some grouse butts, beyond which it just petered out, to become a trudge over heather and rough grass.

A butterfly was resting on a patch of heather. "Ooh can you get a shot", whispered Grizzly.

"What species is it?", asked Little Eric.

"I am not entirely sure, but I think it is a Indian Red Admiral", replied Shaun.

Dad climbed on and eventually the fence across the fell came into view, where a gate allowed access to the far side.

Looking left we could now see the unmarked summit area of Baxton Fell with its extensive peat hags and bog.

"Hmm", mused Tetley. "Really any one of a few of the heathery rises could be the summit."

"From here the one with the white topped post looks to be highest", suggested Little Eric.

Dad walked to this and indeed it was higher, according to the GPS, although it was a short way further than where the map showed the summit spot height.

"I do not necessarily think the post is meant to mark the summit", said Dad.

"It's as good a place as any, and we have crossed the point of the spot height", replied Shaun.

So we promptly jumped out and settled for the picture.

"Pretty desolate and lonely here", remarked Southey.

"Yes lad, not one we will be rushing to revisit."

"Where now?", asked Little Eric.

"We have to plough a lonely furrow by the fence that stretches away to Dunsop Head", instructed Shaun.

As can be seen this was to be a pretty rough traverse over the grass and heather with a few intervening peat hags and bogs. At times a bit of a trod emerged near the fence, but it was clear this is not a very frequented route. Eventually the fence became a wall and at Dunsop Head we intercepted the bridleway from Whitendale, taking the gate left through the wall. It should be noted that the Peak and Northern Footpaths Society sign makes no reference to the route we had come from Baxton Fell!

"Phew", sighed Dad. "I'm not sorry to get that section done."

Shaun instructed, "eventually our route will be to Low Fell, but for now we have to take the path directing us to Burn Side, to bag the summit of Burn Fell."

This was effectively by the wall but initially the ground was very boggy, Dad having to pick his way carefully requiring a bit of a detour. Once past this the wall corner was soon reached and a good tractor track climbed gently to the trig point at the summit, with Totridge being the dominant fell in the background.

Over the wall there were extensive views of Brennand Great Hill, Wolfhole Crag, Ward Stone, Tetley remarking, "those still await us."

"Aye lad, it won't be too long before we tackle them."

"It's so still so come on pals let's sit on top for our picture", cried Southey.

"Shall we stop for a sandwich Dad?", asked Allen.

"OK by me".

However before long the big black flies and midges were buzzing around us, so we quickly packed up and set off again."Ugh, those flies are horrible", complained Grizzly.

We returned to the gate and then headed on the path at right angles across the rough terrain. On this part it soon disappeared into the bog, but Dad ploughed on soon seeing another walker coming towards us."

Dad commented to him about the path and he replied, "I'm on it".

It was just a few yards to our right. Dad explained how it was hard to follow from the gate.

This was a grassy path that then developed into a rocky track as it descended.

The views were extensive, and Southey asked, "what is that stretch of water I can see?"

Allen was quick with the reply. "It is Stocks Reservoir and the extensive woodland behind is the Gisburn Forest."

"We walked along the far edge of that when we climbed to Whelp Stone Crag", added Grizzly.

Striding on, the path led ever down, coming finally to the junction at the beginning of the walk, where turning right is was just a few yards to the car.

Tetley said, "that was a super walk and good to get those summits done. Thank you Dad form us all as always."

"So are you looking to have some refreshments?, queried Little Eric.

"Yes lad, I am going to try the village hall in Dunsop Bridge."

And good it was too. He had a pot of tea with extra hot water, flapjack, tea loaf and cherry and almond slice all for £4! A bit piggish perhaps, but the walk had been quite tough. The cakes were absolutely delicious, and made by the ladies who were serving. All the proceeds are for the upkeep of the hall, and it was busy too, quite a few customers being locals of course. They open every Sunday from Easter to end of August. So this was their last day this year. On leaving Dad said. "thank you, see you next year and Happy Christmas!"

back

shopify analytics