Walking: Rant on Cross Lane

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The first section follows the southern bank of Underbank Reservoir to Midhopestones. We then climb steeply by the earlier packhorse route which was replaced by Mortimer Road before utilising part of the Penistone Boundary Trail. We return over Roughbirchworth Common passing an eighteenth century guide-stoop before descending back to Underbank.

The first section follows the southern bank of Underbank Reservoir to Midhopestones. We then climb steeply by the earlier packhorse route which was replaced by Mortimer Road before utilising part of the Penistone Boundary Trail. We return over Roughbirchworth Common passing an eighteenth century guide-stoop before descending back to Underbank.

1. Walk up Smithy Moor Lane and then pass through the gate opposite Cross Lane, taking the path to the left of the reservoir spill-way.

2. Follow the path by the side of the reservoir, past Underbank Outdoor Activity Centre, all the way to the top end of the reservoir at Midhopestones. Just after passing Underbank Outdoor Centre, you will cross over a stream. There is a path into the woods on your left. About 50 m along this path is the remains of a WW2 anti-aircraft gun emplacement. This was situated in order in to protect Underbank Dam wall from enemy attack.

The concrete base slab and various metal fixings can be clearly seen (grid reference:SK 245 991).

3. Pass through the gate, onto Mortimer Road, and turn right. Cross the main road. On your left, the large building is at the crossroads was originally The ‘Rose and Crown’ public house. It was built by William Payne (1760-1831), Lord of the Manor of Langsett, following the construction of the 1804 Wadsley to Langsett turnpike. The year, ‘1811’ is marked on the rear. It closed as a half-way house in 1876 and has since been converted into private dwellings (‘Midhope Court’). Across the road is a turnpike cottage, similar to the one at Oughtibridge.

4. Continue under the ex-railway bridge (4a). Turn left, then right, following the footpath sign to ‘Mossley Road’.

This path is an earlier packhorse route which was replaced by Mortimer Road. Also known as the Strines Road, this was a turnpike road (1771 Act of Parliament), following the line of an ancient packhorse route (Halifax Gate) which ran between North Derbyshire and the West Riding. It was built at the instigation of Hans Winthrop Mortimer, Lord of the Manor of Bamford, and completed around 1777.

About a third of the way up, the path takes a detour via an adjacent field. On the second part of the climb, there are signs of its previous use as an old road, which has been eroded by the constant passage of traffic. The Causey stones (the base of the track) can just be seen.

5. Follow the path as it slowly rises. You will pass through one stile, three stone stiles, one gate and a kissing gate.

After about 1,200 m, soon after passing Judd Field, you will reach Mossley Road.

6. Turn left onto Mossley Road. After 50m, turn right onto Doubting Lane. This is signed as a ‘public bridleway’.

7. After about 200 m, cross the stone stile, on the right. This is adjacent to a telegraph pole and leads diagonally across three fields, each separated by a stone stile.

8. After the final stone stile, follow the path between the fencing by the stables to reach Joan Royd Lane. Turn right.

9. At the T-junction, turn left onto Mortimer Road. After 30 m, turn right onto a signed track. To visit Cubley Hall continue and take the next right.

10.Follow this track through a farmyard, over two stiles then two fields separated by stone stiles until you reach a farm track. Turn right, away from the ‘Penistone Boundary Walk’.

11.Follow the track for about 750 m, until you reach a road. Turn left. Follow the road for about 650 m.

12.At the cross roads (‘The Bungalow’), take the signed footpath into the woods on the right (12). After 100 m of woodland, cross an overgrown, but signed wooden stile over the wall into the field and bear left, following the path and keeping the wall on your left.

13. Cross four fields until you reach Back Lane. Take the footpath opposite. Heading in the approximate direction of the wind turbine (SSE), cross four fields until you reach Dyson Cote Lane. Turn right, until the T-junction.

On the corner of Dyson Cote Lane and Salter Hill Lane is one of the most unusual guidestoops in the country. It is, as far as is known, unique in having six sides. It was erected in 1734, by order of the West Riding Justices of the Peace. It lies on the ancient saltway route which links Cheshire, via Woodhead, to Wakefield or Doncaster. There are no directional arrows; instead the user would take the road to the right while facing the name of their destination. There are only five obvious routes leading from the stone, not the six which are indicated.

14.Turn left and then go left onto Tofts Lane for about 300 m.

15.Take the footpath on the right opposite the wind turbine, descend through the field, keeping the wall on your left.

16. At the woods go left over the stile and follow the path down by the trees.

17.At the metal gate cross the stone stile into the field

18.Cross the field, to the right of the tree, down to the wooden stile.

19.Cross the stile and then swing right down to the next stile. Continue, passing to the right of the buildings.

20. Pass through two gates and turn right onto the lane (Hunshelf Road). Go along the lane (50 m) to the main road, Underbank Lane. This is a busy road with no pavement. Take care.

21.Turn left and go down the road, passing under the A616, the Stocksbridge bypass, and down to the junction with Manchester Road, the B6088.

This road was the main route out of Stocksbridge until early 1988 when the by-pass opened. The latter is a remnant of the 1980’s M67 scheme which planned to link Manchester and Sheffield.

22. At the bottom of the road, cross Manchester Road, and go back down the lane to Unsliven Road.

Underbank Reservoir (2955 million litres, built in 1907) supplies compensation water to the Little Don. This was used for cooling purposes at Stocksbridge steels.

This walk is described in detail on Stocksbridge Walkers are Welcome Stocksbridge Walkers website.

Circular to Cubley from Underbank, Stocksbridge

• Length – 6.5 miles

• Grade - Mostly well-defined paths, stiles and steady ascents. The climb from Midhopestones is quite steep (4 - 6).

• Start - Unsliven Road, Stocksbridge. Alternatively, you could start in Midhopestones or at Cubley Hall.

• Grid Reference – SK 254 991

• Parking - Unsliven Road.

• Public transport - the 57 and SL1/SL1A bus services both use the A6102. The 57 terminates at Unsliven Bridge, allowing you to join the route at the start. South Pennine Community Transport 257 (Holmfirth to Stocksbridge, Wednesdays only) also passes Unsliven Bridge. Bus and train services serve Penistone

• Refreshments – Silver Fox (Stocksbridge) close to the start point, café at Underbank Outdoor Activity Centre, Mustard Pot (Midhopestones), Cubley Hall (Penistone).