Hurstwood walk

Lancashire Telegraph: Hurstwood walk Hurstwood walk

With wind blowing and the rain falling in torrents and the last of the autumn leaves drifting in the air I began to go through my old walking notes.

My first walks for the Lancashire Telegraph were done in November 1972! At that time all the photographs were in black and white.

There is something about these old pictures which have a real nostalgic feel to them. I decided to repeat a couple of them and see what had changed.

This week I walked around Hurstwood.

Next week – Hornby on the River Lune.

Start at St John’s Church. This was built in the early 19th century but it looks to be much earlier.

It is unusual in that the local Thursby family who funded the building actually incorporated a bar within the church - here was literally a touch of the Christian spirit!

Surrounding the church is some impressive iron work which is worth a visit in its own right.

At the Bay Horse pub look for a footpath sign and turn right past a row of cottages and follow the footpath through fields.

After about ½ mile the winding field path leads to a minor road. Turn left into Hurstwood. Follow the road into the hamlet and allow plenty of time to explore the historic place carefully.

It is worth every yard you travel. The privately owned Hurstwood Hall dates to the 16th century. On the right is Spenser’s Cottage.

It is said that as a youth Edmund Spenser (1552-1599) lived here and fell in love with Rose Dyneley and he wrote the Faeric Queen for her.

His suit was refitted and he went to London and dedicated the work to Queen Elizabeth 1st. The rest as they say is history.

Spenser also wrote the Shepherd’s Kalender which was written in a very obvious Lancashire dialect. A few yards from the poet’s cottage is a stable block called Tatterdall’s Tenement.

Richard Tattersall was an excellent horseman who set off to London to seek his fortune. In 1766 he set up his stables in Knightsbridge and his horse sales became world famous.

Retrace just a few steps back through Hurstwood.

Turn right to reach a large car park. Follow the track through the mixed but mainly conifer woodland and in about ½ mile to reach a substantial gate.

Pass through the gate and follow a track, keeping Hurstwood reservoir on the left.

The reservoir, completed in the 1920s is overlooked by what are called the Hushings. This relates to the sound made by releasing water from large ponds.

The current produced washed away the shallow soil to enable lead ore to be mined out of the exposed outcrops of limestone. At the end of the reservoir the path sweeps left.

Care needs to be taken here to find a footpath to the right. Follow this through a pleasant area of woodland and fields to reach a substantial trackway linking Worsthorne and Gorple.

Turn left and return to the start in Worsthorne.

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