Anglezarke walk

Anglezarke walk

Anglezarke walk

First published in Walks in Lancashire Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by

THE area of Anglezarke is full of 19th century reservoirs built to supply water to the cotton towns in the Bolton area.

The name however, datesback to the old English when a minor chieftain called Anlaf who had his settlement here. The name eventually became converted into Anglezarke.

1. From the car park look for the Anglezarke trail sign but pass through a space and follow a tarmac path.

Look for a sign labelled woodland trail and descend this to reach a junction of paths.

Turn right and pass through a quarry area and which leads close to the banks of the Anglezarke reservoir. Turn right and for a while follow the short woodland trail.

2. Turn left to reach an information board and a seat which is an ideal location to enjoy a picnic and think about the history of the quarries and the use which has been made of them in recent times.

The Lester Mill quarries is in particular have been used as a training ground for serious climbers, including Sir Chris Bonnington.

Why Lester Mill? This dates back to the 18th century when Roger Lester set up a small cotton mill powered by a local stream.

The quarries here did a roaring trade in the 19th when thousands of paving stones were produced to pave the streets of the developing cotton towns.

At one time the quarries were used as a spectacular set for the TV series Jewel in the Crown. A modern day jewel is the footpath labelled woodland trail.

Follow an elevated path around the headland of the reservoir and continue for around half a mile. The route then descends to merge with a second footpath.

Cross over this path leading towards Manor House Farm which can be seen high on the moorland area.

3. Continue ahead and alongside a stone wall. Approach the High Bullough reservoir which is one of the smallest in the are but is still attractive to birdlife.

The hillside here is quite steep but take your time to reach a footpath signed Manor House Farm.

Cross a field to reach the road close to Moor House Farm, turn right and follow the minor road for about 400 yards until a sharp bend.

4. Follow the signs to Jepson’s Gate, which follows a wide bridleway onto the moor.

Follow this route to reach the third of the gates and descend to the right through a damp and at times wet meadowland.

Divert to the left to view the Wellington Bomber memorial. This was erected by the Rotary Club of Horwich in memory of a crew of six killed when an aircraft on a training mission crashed on the moor in 1943.

The crash occurred on Hurst Hill and the wreckage was scattered all over the wide area.

5. A set of wooden steps from the memorial leads down into Lead Mines Clough, sited alongside the well-named Limestone Brook.

Although this area is very much an ancient industrial site it does have a rugged beauty of its own. Most historians believe the Romans mined lead here and the mine shafts were not finally sealed until the 1930 but some think that some clandestine activity went in preparation for a possible German invasion in 1940.

Apart from lead mining, some extraction of a mineral called witherite was discovered in the area around about 1780. This was named after the English scientist William Witherine.

Most of the chemical was bought by Josiah Wedgewood who used it amid great secrecy to perfect the colouring of his Jasper ware.

Cross a bridge and follow the track downstream. Then cross a second footbridge to join the minor road at Alance bridge.

Continue to ascend the steep minor road with the Yarrow reservoir on the left and return to the starting point.

Getting there: From the A675 road from Blackburn towards Bolton turn left at Belmont and follow the minor road to Rivington.

Then turn right a fallow a very narrow road to Anglezarke.

There is a pay and display car park at the starting point of the week.

Length of walk: 3½ miles

Time: Allow 2-3 hours.

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