The Colne Valley Circular Walk, South of the A62

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Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright November 2013, Humphrey Bolton; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
Images also under a similar Creative Commons Licence.


Colne Valley Circular Walk (Southern Section) and 'Sculpture Trail'


Introduction

The Colne Valley Circular Walk was devised by the Colne Valley Society in 1986. It is in the upper Colne Valley, to the west of Huddersfield. It is not really circular, but crosses the valley at Golcar, goes along the southern hillside through rural parts of Linthwaite and Lingards to Marsden, where it crosses back over the river and returns along the northern hillside. The distance is about 22km or 14 miles, too long for many people, but if divided into two by the A62 Manchester Road. you can walk one way and take a bus the other way. This article is a pictorial description of the southern half, enlivened by an amusing parody of a 'sculpture trail' consisting of pseudo-sculptures LinkExternal link I have started at Linthwaite and finished at Marsden because that gives the opportunity for refuelling at a café before catching the bus back - check the timetable first!

There were not many images along the route on geograph, so I walked the route in stages to acquire a comprehensive set. After a good start on sunny days in Summer, I finished in gloomy November.

Manchester Road, Linthwaite, to Linfit Lane

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

SE0914 : The Colne Valley Circular Walk at Manchester Road by Humphrey Bolton
The start is a signposted track off the A62 almost opposite Lees Mill Lane.


SE0914 : Ruined building in the site of Longfield Dye Works by Humphrey Bolton
The path climbs up past a ruined dye works.


SE0914 : Derelict dyeworks, Manchester Road, Linthwaite by Humphrey Bolton
This was Longfield Dyeworks. A round chimney with steel straps in the background. The doors could be for garages for delivery vans, and there is an electricity transformer room, often seen in the sides of industrial buildings.
by Humphrey Bolton


SE0914 : Colne Valley Circular Walk footpath by Chris Wimbush
After the initial steep climb, and path is broad and grassy.


SE0914 : Colne Valley Sculpture Trail #1 (plate on gate) by Humphrey Bolton
Soon we are at #1 of the 'Sculpture Trail', a steel plate welded onto a gate that blocks the way to vehicles but leaves a gap for walkers.

1: 'The Pastoral Krew' - Country Scene: Lake (Spray paint on iron panel) - 'The Pastoral Krew', (whose identity, or identities, remain unknown), transport the techniques of urban art into a countryside setting, creating pieces of surprising harmony and tranquillity, but with the vibrancy and immediacy of graffiti. 'Country Scene: Lake' shows their typical use of stencils to create a repeated motif, combined with hastily applied monochrome washes. Their work challenges our assumptions about the role and impact of street art.


SE0914 : Strange gate on the Colne Valley Circular Walk by Humphrey Bolton
There is a further mysterious design on the other side of the plate.


SE0913 : Flat House, Linthwaite by Humphrey Bolton
The path becomes a suburbanised lane called Flat House.


SE0913 : Mysterious plinth at Flat House by Humphrey Bolton
We come to a plinth on the right, which just one old OS 1:2500 map shows was a tank. Was this the local water supply? The slab has two holes in it and there seems to be a void underneath. The route turns right here.


SE0913 : Colne Valley Sculpture Trail #2 (garden fence) by Humphrey Bolton
#2 of the 'Sculpture Trail' is on the far side of a garden on the left:

2: Angela Paradina - Impermanent Border (Mixed wooden fence panels) - Paradina's works both mock and question the concept of a border. In the first of two nearby pieces, she has used a random selection of found panels to create a clear border - yet has simultaneously subverted its implied permanence by its ramshackle and temporary appearance.


SE0913 : Colne Valley Sculpture Trail #3 (circular fence) by Humphrey Bolton
This circular fence is in the field to our right:

3: Angela Paradina- Movable Border (Steel fence) - In her second work, the border itself is of a more conventional form - a simple, circular metal fence - yet the area it encloses appears to be no different to its surroundings. To emphasise this, the entire structure is moved precisely one inch to the west annually on the artist's birthday. This leads us to question what is the point of this, or indeed any, border.

However it seems more likely to be the temple of a pagan sect, a modern equivalent to a stone circle!


SE0913 : Stile on the Colne Valley Circular Walk by Humphrey Bolton
We come over this stile and leave suburbia behind.


SE0913 : Stile on the Colne Valley Circular Walk by Humphrey Bolton
Some of the posts for the waymarks on this walk are massive, possibly cut from old telegraph poles.


SE0913 : Stile on the Colne Valley Circular Walk by Humphrey Bolton
There are two stiles in this wall; the Colne Valley Circular Walk goes through the one on the left.


SE0813 : The Colne Valley Circular Walk by Humphrey Bolton
Next is one of the most attractive parts of the walk.


SE0813 : Stile on the Colne Valley Circular Walk by Humphrey Bolton
There is a short section with nettles and brambles next to this stile. Pocket secateurs are a good idea.


SE0813 : Towards Slaithwaite by Chris Wimbush
Much of the route has views across the valley, not always pretty, but interesting nevertheless.


SE0813 : Stile on the Colne Valley Circular Walk by Humphrey Bolton
You need to keep up near the wall, and go over this stile.


SE0813 : Stile at Heywoods Farm by Humphrey Bolton
You then come to another stile, as the path passes Heywoods Farm.


SE0813 : Stile on Colne Valley Circular Walk at Heywoods Farm by Humphrey Bolton
Don't miss this stile, which leads to the driveway to the farm.


SE0813 : Driveway to Heywoods Farm by Humphrey Bolton
The driveway takes you to Linfit Lane.


1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

Linfit Lane to Varley Road

SE0813 : Linfit Lane, Linthwaite by Humphrey Bolton
You go down Linfit Lane for a short distance until it bends to the right.


SE0813 : Steps and stile off Linfit Lane by Humphrey Bolton
Go up the steps and follow the signpost.


SE0813 : Stile approaching Stockerhead by Humphrey Bolton
This stile leads to Stockerhead.


SE0813 : The Colne Valley Circular Walk at Stockerhead by Humphrey Bolton
The path goes through the gardens of Stockerhead, which is a row of early 19C houses.


SE0813 : The Colne Valley Circular Walk leaving Stockerhead westwards by Humphrey Bolton
A stile leads back into the fields, which slope down to Bradley Brook.


SE0813 : The Colne Valley Circular Walk descending to Bradley Brook by Humphrey Bolton
After crossing the ruined wall in the foreground, bear right, ignoring the cattle tracks.


SE0813 : Footbridge on the Colne valley Circular Walk by Humphrey Bolton
You will then reach the footbridge over Bradley Brook, where we leave Linthwaite and enter Lingards (which used to be an independent civil parish before it was taken over by Slaithwaite Urban District in 1894).


SE0813 : The Colne Valley Circular Walk west of Bradley Brook by Humphrey Bolton
Go over the H-shaped stile and follow the wall up towards the stone hut, see next image.


[image id=3606355 text=Just before we reach Varley Road, #4 of the 'Sculpture Trail' is on our right.

4: John Hubert Diamond - Shrine To Myself (Stone bricks, found wood, smashed glass, concrete, airbrick, trellis, polythene bags, string, rocks) - Diamond's strict Methodist upbringing has found its expression in this courageous piece. A structure of surprisingly complex construction - witness the trellis section on the roof and a superfluous airbrick at the side - houses an intimate and seemingly shattered chapel. Two holes in the ceiling and one in the wall allow light to focus on an "altar" of smashed glass and a broken crucifix. When this piece was completed, the artist spent eight weeks permanently residing inside, sustained only by food and drink offered by passers by. He returns here at least four times annually, during which time he contributes a little more to the destruction of its interior.

However, the tape makes it clear that the owner does not want people to go inside.]

KML

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