Walking: Wigtwizzle this way

Wigtwistle Bridleway taken by Stocksbridge Walkers are Welcome
Wigtwistle Bridleway taken by Stocksbridge Walkers are Welcome
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We walk through a variety of landscapes, from a quiet valley with a stone circle, to open moorland, and parkland. We take a loop around Broomhead Moor which and return via Wigtwizzle and the grounds of, the long demolished, Broomhead Hall.

1. Go through the gate onto Broomhead Moor. Take the farm track ahead of you (NW direction).

2. Follow the track as it dips down to cross a stream

3. To visit the stone circle take the path to the right of the footpath marker post. It has eight or nine stones (five of which are standing) in a ring, 16 m by 14.5 m, set into the inner edge of a bank. The stones vary in height from 0.75 m and 0.35 m. The bank is about 20 m in diameter and 2-3 m wide. Two entrances, (NNW and SSE), both edged with stones are located. There are also two cairns within the circle.

4. Return to the farm track to continue the walk.

5. Continue along the farm track, passing through a gate and twisting up the hill.

6. Continue until you reach the shooting lodge. The shooting lodge has the initials ‘RW’ above the door, referring to the Rimington Wilson family who resided at the nearby Broomhead Hall. In the early part of the last century, Broomhead Moor usually yielded the largest ‘one day bag’ of the season and had more grouse to the acre than any moor in Great Britain. The record ‘one day bag’ was 1421.5 brace in August 1913.

7. Go past the lodge and swing left, up onto the Moor. This track continues past the lodge for about 500 metres providing vehicular access to the grouse butts situated on the higher ground beyond.

8. When you reach the last of the grouse butts the farm track ends. There is a stream that runs from right to left.

9. Your route to the track across the moor (the Dukes Road) is to follow the line of this stream (Rushy Dike) to your half left until it meets the path. Initially (~40 m) walk on the left side of the stream, then, continue to the right of the stream keeping approximately parallel to the stream.

10. When you reach the track, turn left in an easterly direction. The path broadens out to become a wide track.

This track is known as ‘Dukes Road.’ The Duke in question was the Duke of Norfolk, Lord of the Manor of Sheffield, who had extensive shooting interests in the area. The road was constructed for the use of his grouse-shooting guests, although it probably followed an earlier ancient route over the moors.

G.H.B Ward, the well-known Sheffield rambler, once described the walk over the Dukes Road as the ‘wildest Yorkshire moorland walk south of Wharfedale.’ It was also the scene of a second, almost forgotten, mass trespass in September 1932, when 200 ramblers walked from Bradfield to Abbey Brook in protest against the lack of public access to the moors.

This took place five months after the better known Kinder Scout trespass. Since the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, there has been open access to much of the moor.

11. Follow the track all the way back to the Mortimer Road. Then turn left.

12. Go a short distance along the road until you reach the junction of Mortimer and Penistone Road.

At this junction is an old milestone. This is likely to have existed before the construction of Mortimer Road as it is dated 1740. It shows directions and distances to Penistone, Sheffield, Hope and Bradfield.

13. At the junction enter through the farm gate and go down the bridle path, between the stone walls.

On your right is ‘The Canyards,’ a 64.1 hectare (158.4 acre) biological and geological site of Special Scientific Interest which was notified in 1990. The name, ‘Canyards’ may be derived from the Celtic word, ‘carnedd’ (stone mounds).

14. Follow the track through the farmyard (Old Booth Farm) and down to the road junction.

15. At the junction cut back sharp left onto Lee Lane and head towards Wigtwizzle for about 500 m. At this point, opposite is the Wigtwizzle bridleway which was opened in early 2014.

16. At the junction with Moor Lane continue along Lee Lane. Just beyond the next junction there is a sign posted stone stile into, what was once, the grounds of Broomhead Hall.

17. Cross the stile and continue ahead, crossing a small stream.

18. Continue in an approximately straight line, cross another steam, and veering slightly to the right aim for the metal gate in the stone wall.

19. At the gate in the wall continue across the same field keeping the wall to you right. The path swings slightly to the left, heading in a north westerly direction. This field is the site of the annual Broomhead Show.

It is also the site of Broomhead Hall, the former home of the Rimington Wilson family. The original Broomhead Hall originated in the 14th century. A second, the home of the staunch Parliamentarians Christopher and Mary Wilson, took its place in 1640. The last building, erected by the James Rimington (1786-1839) in 1831, remained empty and derelict for many years before demolition.

In the latter part of World War II, British planes used the Langsett, Ewden, Bradfield and Derwent Reservoirs for practice runs. Wing Commander Guy Gibson, the Commanding Officer of 617 Squadron, who led the ‘Dam Busters’ raid, stayed at Broomhead Hall, with the Rimington Wilson family, to oversee the practices.

20. As you pass over the slight brow you will see the path continue up the hill though a couple a gates and over a bridge.

21. Look out for the blue signs marking the footpath. Continue up the hill aiming to go to the right of the farm buildings.

22. After passing the farm building you will reach a large stone wall with a stile in the left corner. Cross the stile and follow the path and cross another stile onto the farm lane.

WALK DETAILS:

Broomhead Moor, near Stocksbridge

• Length - 5.8 miles

• Grade - Mostly well defined rough paths and tracks. There is some walking on open moorland, so appropriate equipment is required. If you visit the stone circle, in Summer, the bracken may be very tall.

• Start - Mortimer Road, Opposite Broomhead Hall Farm, near Wigtwizzle.

• Grid Reference - SK 241 962

• Maps – OL1 Dark Peak, OS Explorer 278

• Parking - on the road-side verge

• Public transport - none

• Refreshments – none

• Public Toilets – none

• This walk is described, in detail, on the website of Stocksbridge Walkers are Welcome:

Stocksbridge - Walkers are welcome