Geo-Trips :: A walk in the woods

Leighton Park Woods

A walk from Pant-y-Bwch, Fri, 26 Sep 2008 by Penny Mayes

The main purpose of this trip was to check the location of a photograph submitted to Geograph by someone else which had been queried by another contributor. It showed a pool in the woods above Leighton by Offa's Dyke path. Studies of the maps available at the time showed several pools in these woods so I thought I'd go and take a look for myself as I live nearby.

It was a calm misty day but the mist did no penetrate the wood. I went armed with a GPS and a mobile phone with built-in radio receiver. Once in the woods my GPS could see no satellites and I had no phone signal but the FM radio kept me company.

I found and photographed the disputed pool and then continued on my way, largely following Offa's Dyke Path to begin with then veering off to take in a lower pool, just in case it looked very much like the disputed one. I met few other walkers and found a selection of fungi.

It was plain the pools were man-made and later research suggested they were built and used in association with a water turbine which powered machinery, including a funicular railway, on this high-tech Victorian Estate. I have also read that they fed a decorative cascade near the Hall itself.

Offa's Pool looks to me like a failure - the 'dam' does not look substantial enough to hold back the weight of water, being a straight brick wall with no banking on the downhill side. But what do I know?

It was fascinating to find all the signs of engineering, now somewhat neglected and overgrown. One can imagine the Liverpudlian banker who owned the estate getting excited about the possibilities for both work and leisure of his personal hydro-scheme.

Click the blue circles to see a photograph taken from that spot and read further information about the location. The blue lines indicate the direction of view. There is also a slideshow of this trip. ( )

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SJ2505 : Pant-y-Bwch by Penny Mayes
Pant-y-Bwch
From Offa's Dyke Path as it heads into Leighton Woods.

SJ2505 : Power lines through the forest by Penny Mayes
Power lines through the forest
Offa's Dyke Path follows the road for a short distance past the Leighton Estate... more

SJ2505 : Pool on the Leighton Estate by Penny Mayes
Pool on the Leighton Estate
The bank to the left of the image is the dam for this pool. It carries a broad... more

SJ2505 : Pool on the Leighton Estate by Penny Mayes
Pool on the Leighton Estate
This is almost the reciprocal view of http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/343189... more

SJ2505 : Pool on the Leighton Estate by Penny Mayes
Pool on the Leighton Estate
There are several pools in Leighton Park woods. Various sources suggest they were... more

SJ2504 : Offa's Dyke path in Leighton Park woods by Penny Mayes
Offa's Dyke path in Leighton Park woods
Offa's Dyke path follows the forest track between the higher pool... more

SJ2504 : Forestry tractor by Penny Mayes
Forestry tractor
Beside the track http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/986252 in Leighton Park woods.

SJ2504 : Steep wooded hillside by Penny Mayes
Steep wooded hillside
In Leighton Park woods.

SJ2504 : Track around Offa's Pool by Penny Mayes
Track around Offa's Pool
Offa's Pool is fed by two small brooks which pass under these two bridges on the... more

SJ2504 : A meeting of the ways by Penny Mayes
A meeting of the ways
A footpath from the road near Longwood joins Offa's Dyke path at Offa's Pool.

SJ2504 : Culvert over the brook by Penny Mayes
Culvert over the brook
A close-up of the further 'bridge' seen in [[986294]]. Offa's Pool is fed by two... more

SJ2504 : Pheasant feeding station by Penny Mayes
Pheasant feeding station
On Offa's Dyke path by Offa's Pool.

SJ2504 : Fungus on a tree stump by Penny Mayes
Fungus on a tree stump
On the edge of Offa's Pool. I think this is probably honey fungus.

SJ2504 : Brook entering Offa's Pool by Penny Mayes
Brook entering Offa's Pool
This is the brook which passes through the culvert shown here... more

SJ2504 : Corner of the dam on Offa's Pool by Penny Mayes
Corner of the dam on Offa's Pool
This high brick wall (seen here http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/827709 from... more

SJ2504 : Across Offa's Pool by Penny Mayes
Across Offa's Pool
Looking from the dam http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/986509 towards one of the... more

SJ2504 : Brick channel near Offa's Pool by Penny Mayes
Brick channel near Offa's Pool
This channel runs down hill from the dam http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/986509... more

SJ2504 : Fungus in the wood by Penny Mayes
Fungus in the wood
I'm pretty sure this is a Lactarius of some kind. There were several ageing... more

SJ2504 : Lower pool in Leighton Park woods by Penny Mayes
Lower pool in Leighton Park woods
There are several pools in Leighton Park woods. Various sources suggest they were... more

SJ2504 : Lower pool in Leighton Park woods by Penny Mayes
Lower pool in Leighton Park woods
There are several pools in Leighton Park woods. Various sources suggest they were... more

SJ2504 : Fungus by the lower pool by Penny Mayes
Fungus by the lower pool
I think this is Stag-horn Fungus (Calocera viscosa) - thanks to Eric Soons for... more

SJ2504 : Shaggy inkcap (Coprinus comatus) by the lower pool by Penny Mayes
Shaggy inkcap (Coprinus comatus) by the lower pool
A handsome pair, the older specimen has been dripping 'ink' on its younger friend.

SJ2504 : Forest track, Leighton Park woods by Penny Mayes
Forest track, Leighton Park woods
Running SW from the lower pool http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/986889... more

SJ2504 : Hollybush Cottage by Penny Mayes
Hollybush Cottage
Deep in the Leighton Park woods, close by the lower pool. Home, apparently, to... more

SJ2505 : Track in Leighton Park woods by Penny Mayes
Track in Leighton Park woods
The main track down to Hollybush Cottage http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/987110... more

SJ2505 : South east slope of Moel y Mab by Penny Mayes
South east slope of Moel y Mab
From a little further up the [[987117]].

All images © Penny Mayes and available under a Creative Commons licence external link.

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