The names of our old villages have always fascinated me and mostly their meaning can be translated.

Getting there

From Todmorden follow the A646 towards Hebden Bridge. Look out for a sign indicating Mankinholes and Lumbutts. Cross the river Calder and the Rochdale Canal. Bear right and follow a narrow winding bend which climbs steeply. Towards the summit bear sharp right still following the signs to Lumbutts and Mankinholes. Just before Lumbutts is the Shepherd’s Rest on the left. Descend into Lumbutts where there is street parking.

The walk

The town of Todmorden is easy and is old English meaning a boundary valley once owned by a chap called Totta. Lumbutts can also be explained and means a pool indicating that it was first set up around a source of water. Now comes the confusion – Mankinholes has really set me thinking. So far I have no explanation and here I hope Weekend readers may be able to help.

This undulating stroll is sure to delight all those who are interested in history, whilst at this time of the year there is a lot of wildlife to delight the walker. There are open views towards an historic monument and below to the Yorkshire Calder Valley with the Rochdale Canal also clearly seen.

Lumbutts is dominated by an unusual chimney-like structure below which is a mill lodge always worth a long look because of the summer visiting swifts and swallows. The tower-like structure is not actually a chimney but the housing for three water wheels, one on top of the other and fed by a unique system of syphons. These are a real source of wonder to industrial archaeology and I wonder if this system is unique. The area has provided hostel accommodation for those keen on outdoor activities.

My walk Follow the road towards Mankinholes for about 200 yards and turn right onto a footpath and bridle way which is part of the Calderdale Way. This track and many others in the area were once vital packhorse routes and the stones which lined these are still very evident.

Now ascend gently to meet the junction with the Pennine Way which comes in from the right. Continue to follow the Pennine Way, climb steeply and, when you have got your breath, bear left.

The route now leads toward the summit of the 1,300ft Stoodley Pike. The monument was erected in 1814 to celebrate the French surrender of Paris and Napoleon’s exile to Elba. Before the monument was completed, however, Old Boney escaped and literally met his Waterloo in 1815. This time he was sent to St Helena, from which there was no escape. The views from the 120ft tower’s observation platform are spectacular.

The single track down from the Pike soon meets a much more substantial track which is still known as London Road. This was indeed once the main road in the days of the packhorse. Turn left and follow London Road into Mankinholes.

Turn left into the hamlet of Mankinholes. Look to the right to see a long line of horse troughs. These allowed the packhorse to drink without the driver (who was called the Jagger) having to remove any of the horses’ harnesses or their loads.

Turn left at the end of Mankinholes and climb gently to reach the junction of the Calderdale Way and the Pennine Way. Pass through a gate and turn right to return to Lumbutts and the starting point.