Sunday, 1 April 2018

Over the border to Wycoller in Lancashire.

Wycoller is a village in the civil parish of Trawden Forest in Pendle, Lancashire, England. It is located 3 miles east of Colne, near to the junction of the Lancashire, West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire borders.

The village dates back to before the 10th century BC. Central to the village are the ruins of Wycoller Hall. The village is a conservation area, and is closed to outside traffic. There is a car park on Trawden Road and another on the east side of the village opposite Height Laithe Farm on the road towards Haworth.

We have not been here before, and I was looking forward to seeing the ruins of the Hall. 
Driving over into Lancashire through some pretty little towns, I was surprised how it was not to far from where we live.

As you approach  Wycoller  the roads get smaller and smaller and care needs to be taken, unbeknown to use it was a Easter duck race on the beck in the village, which they hold every year. We got parked and left before the end of the race (good tip). It was so nice to see so many people turning up with their family's on a cold Easter day.

Cars are not allowed down in the village, so it didn't take long before the car park was full.
Walking down you can look for Fairies .

Fitted in the small spaces left where branches have been pruned and installed by the Trawden Forest Fairies group across Wycoller and Trawden Forest, the inspiration for the project has its roots in the organiser's father's stories about fairies living in a big tree off Barrowford Road, and aims to delight any children who find them.

15th century Pack-Horse Bridge

 'Pack-Horse Bridge', a twin arched bridge in the centre of the village, 

End of the duck race.

Wycoller is probably most famous for its Bronte connection. Today Wycoller Hall stands in ruins but this 16th century hall is believed to have been the inspiration for Ferndean Manor in Charlotte Bronte’s novel, ‘Jane Eyre’. The Brontes lived at Haworth, not far from Wycoller, and Charlotte would have passed through here on her way to Gawthorpe Hall when she went to stay with the Kay-Shuttleworths. Charlotte’s description of Ferndean Manor when approached from the old coach road fits Wycoller Hall perfectly.

Originally owned by the Hartley family, the hall was extended in the late 18th century by its last owner, Squire Cunliffe. A keen gambler, Cunliffe also borrowed money against Wycoller Hall to fund the building work. He died heavily in debt in 1818. After his death, stones from the Hall were plundered to build nearby houses and other structures. The hall subsequently fell into ruin.(LINK)

Wycoller Barn

The barn at Wycoller Hall in Wycoller Country Park, Lancashire was built about 1650, probably using timbers from an earlier cruck barn.

It is a typical northern aisled barn with five bays, wide aisles suitable for stalling cattle and a low-pitched roof. The openings in the side indicate it was later converted to a coach house for the hall.

The barn is now the visitor centre for the park. There is large mill pond just above the barn.

On display in the Barn.

The atmospheric ruins of the hall lie by Wycoller Beck which flows through the village. The beck is crossed by no less than seven bridges, the oldest of which is Clam Bridge. Possibly more than 1000 years old, the bridge is listed as an Ancient Monument. It is a simple bridge, just a single slab laid across the beck. It may also have once had a handrail.

Clam Bridge

Close to the ruins of Wycoller Hall is the late 18th / early 19th century Clapper Bridge. Grooves in the bridge formed by the weavers’ clogs were apparently chiselled flat by a farmer whose daughter fell and was fatally injured on the bridge.

Pendle’s Panopticon, Atom

Pendle’s Panopticon, Atom, rests on the hillside above Wycoller village in Wycoller Country Park. Constructed in ferro-cement with a surface coating of metal-based paint, it is both a striking contemporary viewing point and shelter from which to enjoy Pendle’s glorious scenery, and an intriguing and beautiful object which can be viewed from afar. From inside, its circular viewing spaces frame spectacular views of the surrounding countryside, and an initially hidden, polished steel ball reflects back those views to the visitor. (link)

Walking up the hill , the path is lined with large stones.

Pendle Hill
 (Not Ingleborough)
(thanks kjsutcliffe )

Pendle Hill is located in the east of Lancashire, England, near the towns of Burnley, Nelson, Colne, Clitheroe and Padiham. Its summit is 557 metres (1,827 ft) above mean sea level. It gives its name to the Borough of Pendle. It is an isolated hill, separated from the Pennines to the east, the Bowland Fells to the northwest, and the West Pennine Moors to the south. It is included in detached part of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Fans of the film, ‘The Railway Children’ starring Jenny Agutter may recognise this bridge. In a sequence from the film, Bobbie (Jenny Agutter) is seen sitting on the bridge, talking to Dr Forrest who is driving his pony and trap through the ford.

Finds of flint tools and axe heads at Wycoller indicate that there was a community here from as early as the Stone Age. A small sheep farming community in the 17th century, by the late 18th century the village was booming. Weaving had come to Wycoller. Weaving with a hand loom was now the main occupation of the vast majority of households in the village. However this period of relative affluence was not to last.

The invention of power looms in the 19th century led to the village’s decline. Weavers had to move to nearby towns to find work in the developing mills. Over 35 houses were abandoned and fell into ruin. By 1896 the majority of people had moved away from the village and it was virtually deserted.


Now a country park, visitors can stroll through the picturesque village with its remaining cottages, beck and ruined hall. There is a Craft Centre with Victorian tearoom and gift shop in the village.

Wycoller Craft centre and Cafe

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Between the snow

Back to Raywell Country Lodges 

When we booked this little break last year at Raywell, Beverley nr Hull, we had not been expecting the bad winter storms. Lucky for us the weather was not to bad between the "Beast from the East" and " The Pest from the West". 
Last year in June it had rained all week and was cold, but it's such a beautiful area  we wanted to go again. 
Driving down in the rain  didn't bode well,  the spray on the motorway was dreadful, thankfully it was not to far. 

The Lodges are lovely with your own private Hot tub/Jacuzzi 

We visited Beverley on the first day and the sun was shining.

Beverly Minster

What a lovely and amazing place, well worth a visit if you ever get chance.

Not sure why the phone boxes are all painted white.

The town is full of little shops, and other beautiful buildings.

Beverley market square

At the other end of the town there is another church I wanted to visit to see the White Rabbit!
St. Mary's Church, I was not expecting to find such a great building inside. 

St. Mary's 

The pillars is decorated with a delightful carving of a rabbit dressed as a pilgrim. The rabbit carving dates to about 1330 and is thought to be the inspiration for Lewis Carroll's White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland

.Nave Roof

The painted panels of forty kings in choir and chancel (from ~1445).

Carved Imp, guarding the entrance to the Priests room.
Not sure about the Imp, but the Christmas Donkey was pretty scary !

Mappleton Beach
Fossil Hunting.

Still with the sunshine but turning a little colder we headed to Mappleton Beach, the road from Beverley takes you across single track roads through farmland. A bit odd at first but you can see for miles as it's so flat.

Even though the sun was shining we could have done with another layer of clothing, the wind coming of the sea was freezing.
A small little village, there is a free car park at the top of the cliff's, which I fear in a few years to come it will not be there due to the erosion of the coast line.

"Devils Toenail"   Gryphaea
I managed to find plenty "Devils Toenails", but we were struggling a bit on what to look for. There was a few people fossil hunting, a couple we stopped to have a chat to gave us some tips on what to look for and they very kindly gave me a large "Bullets on the beach" fossil.(I found two bits the next day) They also recommended going for coffee and cake at The old post office cafe up the road.

"Bullets on the beach"  Belemnites

The tide was coming in and we were frozen , when we stopped to chat to another gentleman who gave me this  Ammonite.

When I got home and posted my finds on Facebook, a group for fossil hunters. Both people we had spoken to were on the group and remembered us, which was nice.


All Saints Church Mappleton

From here we drove down to Withernsea, another good place to look for fossils, the tide was in and the wind was so cold we decided to drive back and get in the hot tub.....!

Thursday  we drove back to Mappleton, with many layers of clothes as it was getting colder and due to rain. We did manage to find a few more fossils and eat more cake at the cafe.

My little friend for the week.

During the week I took many photos especially visiting the churches and the fossils I collected, below is links to see more, I would recommend looking at the Beverley Minster post as the place was stunning.