Our walk today started from Salterforth which lies on an old salt route, along which salt used to be transported from the salt mines in Cheshire to Yorkshire. The name is possibly derived from Salter’s Ford.
We parked at Salterforth Wharfe close to the Anchor Inn which has an interesting history. The Inn is one of the oldest buildings in Salterforth dating back to about 1655 when it was known as the ‘Travellers Rest’ In 1770 work began on the construction of the Leeds and Liverpool canal which runs alongside the Inn. The Travellers Rest became damp so a new Inn was built on top of it using the old Inn as its cellars. The cellars now boast an interesting display of stalactites and stalagmites.
We set off along the canal towpath towards Cockshot Bridge.
We crossed the bridge and followed the path across a couple of fields to meet the busy B6383. We followed a bridleway but soon our instruction’s made no sense. There were four of us, all equipped with a GPS and a 1:25,000 map but we were ‘lost’. Well not exactly ‘lost’ we knew exactly where we were, it was just not where we wanted to be!. We had missed a sign for the Pendle Way. Had the route been changed since my map was printed or had the ‘Witch’ misdirected us?
Getting back on course was no problem and we headed for Moor Side farm and on to Folly Lane where a steepish climb led us along a spur of Weets Hill.
We ignored a sign for the Pendle Way ( a witch on a broomstick) and continued along the lane passing a stone marker engraved with ‘BEAT THE BOUNDS’
This is an old boundary stone and was part of an ancient custom of ‘Beating the Bounds’ when members of the community would walk the boundaries of the Parish. Known as Gangdays the custom of going a-ganging dates back to the Norman Conquest.
Our next point of interest was at Duck Pond farm where we saw some large sculptures.
These sculptures were created by an art teacher who lives in one of the farm buildings.
It was time for lunch and it was lovely to sit in the shelter of a wall and feel the warmth of the early spring sunshine. Across the valley two objects dominated the skyline.
Nearest to us was a modern wind turbine but in the distance we could see Blacko Tower. It was built around 1890 by Jonathon Stansfield, a local grocer. He thought he would be able to see Ribblesdale from the top but he was wrong. An alternative story suggests that he was trying to get high enough to see his girlfriend who lived in Gisburn.
A stretch of moorland walking led us to Gisburn Old Road where we headed south following a path running parallel to the road.
There were lots of lambs which looked so cute.
Re-joining the road we passed Peel’s House and then followed Lister Well Road, another old salt route.
At the highest point on the road we turned right onto a track across moorland to reach the B road and on to Salterforth.
Back at the Anchor Inn we wondered if it would be possible to view the stalactites and stalagmites in the cellars. It would probably mean buying a few pints of Real Ale. Very tempting but not when I had a drive back along the motorway.
Once back in Crosby we could relax and enjoy a pint of Ruddles Bitter and rest out weary legs.
Only 7 miles but full of interest.