Marsden Moor part 5 – Close Moss

This last part of our 10 mile round trip from t’other day concluded with our crossing the A62, main road through from Lancashire to Huddersfield. We crossed just inside the Lancs border over the Standedge pass which marks the boundary between Lancashire and Yorkshire.

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Then we had to climb a bit. Part of this path is the Oldham Way, which veers off further on, leaving us to continue along the Pennine Way track. For details of this long-distance footpath, either read my previous post in part 4, or Google it. (I would post a link if I knew how!!!)

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We had to follow a ridge of boulders and loose stoney bits for a couple of miles.

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A proper bit of Yorkshire countryside

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The views stretched for miles in all directions. This is looking roughly west towards Bury, with Bolton and Wigan beyond.

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The moor is a very bleak and lonely place, you could easily get lost in fog if you wandered off a footpath.

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They look closer than they are (not zoomed). The two reservoirs at Castleshaw, Saddleworth lie near an ancient Roman settlement, artifacts of which can be found in the museum at nearby Uppermill. The village to the left of the reservoirs is Delph, part of which is in Lancashire, and part in Yorkshire due to the weird designation of borders round here.

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We stuck close to the edge of the ridge till it turned to the right, towards March Haigh. There is a hump-shaped hill called March Hill with March Haigh reservoir at its foot. It isn’t easily photographed close-to from its southern side, and my efforts didn’t do very well.

I will say that it was quite a trudge down towards Eastergate at the bottom though.

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Above is the much-photographed Close Gate packhorse bridge at Eastergate. A lot of these tracks up here are old packhorse routes from the times before rail links, when cloth from the mills and other goods were transported. I shot the bridge from the other side though. The stream is Willykay Clough, one of several which flow down the moor and converge in Marsden into the River Colne, our principal river through the Colne Valley.

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Redbrook Clough joins Willykay Clough and trickles happily along. This area is popular with families and trippers for picnics in the summer. When my young ‘un (now with little daughters of her own) was just a lass, we’d often walk up here from our house in Marsden where we lived at the time. Our family has fond memories of Eastergate.

So, after a day out walking, my friend and I made it back to another friend’s house in the village for a very much needed coffee and slab of cheesecake 🙂

Part 6, the final Marsden Moor bit, will be about the wildlife we encountered on the moor.

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