Calder Vale walk

Lancashire Telegraph: Calder Vale walk Calder Vale walk

Those living in the Burnley area may be confused by the title of this walk but there is another Calder Vale in Lancashire which has a fascinating tale to tell.

Calder Vale was a very creditable attempt to create a model village and show how a textile mill community should be organised.

This, in 1835 was the ambition of the Quaker brothers Richard and Jonathan Jackson.

They chose an area of the river Calder tributary of the River Wyre and set in a wooded valley.

There are many rivers named Calder, which is Old English and simply means a cool, fast-flowing stream.

Such streams were ideal for providing the power needed to operate the early mills.

In time the brothers built two mills, including the now-ruined Low Mill and the four-storey Lappet Mill.

This still survives and works 24 hours a day producing the red, black and white checked cloth which is much in demand from Arab countries.

They love their head dresses made by Lappet Mill.

The brothers built terraced houses close to the mills and these are still lived in today and include Victoria Terrace, Primrose Cottages and the well-named Long Row.

Quakers had a very tolerant view of other people’s religious beliefs and the church of St John the Evangelist was built in 1863.

Next to this is the impressive little school.

There was also a Methodist chapel but they did not allow a pub to be built.

This circular stroll has been designed to be wheelchair friendly.

1. The walk starts from the old police station and post office and descends and then crosses the bridge over the Calder. Follow the quiet track from the car park and cross the row of mill workers’ cottages.

2. At the end of the cottages pass through a gate and follow the tarmac track with the river on the left and negotiate a steep but steady incline.

This is the haunt of birds such as dipper, grey wagtail and pied wagtail. In the springtime there are magnificent swathes of bluebells.

Continue through this wooded area to arrive at a gate leading to the church, school and a playground.

3. Continue along the track to reach a T junction.

4. Turn right onto a farm track towards landskill and the pass through a metal gate. A gentle rise leads to a cattle grid but there is also a gate as an alternative.

This is the highest point on this stroll and approaches another gate leading to Landskill Farm.

5. Turn right at this point and cross close to the farmyard and over some cobbles. The terrain is smoother then you may think and is suitable for wheelchairs.

There are some fine views from this area.

6. At this point the path divides.

Be sure to take the right fork and go over another cattle grid which also has a gate close by. Look out for Stirk Hey Cottage and woodland.

Stirk means a young bull and hey indicates a woodland.

Here is another chance in springtime to enjoy the bluebells but there are also very pretty autumn colours.

The track continues downhill to reach long row and on to the starting point.

How to get there

How to get there: Calder Vale is set in a valley and is reached via a cul-de-sac.

From the A6 at Garstang follow the Beacon Fell signs.

Pass over the Lancaster canal and pass the Kenlis Arms along Sandholme Lane and Strickens Lane to reach Calder Vale.

There is a large car park over the bridge and close to the mill which is the starting point.

The mill is busy and this walk is best enjoyed over a weekend.

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