Walking: Moorland marching

A circular walk from Crowden over the moors and back by the reservoirs

Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 1:51 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 1:55 pm

• Start – Crowden car park or the small car park on the A628.

• Grid Reference – SK 072 993 or SK 039 983

• Maps – OL1 Dark Peak.

• Parking –car park (no charge).

• Public Transport – National Express route 350 (Liverpool to Cambridge) stops at Crowden.

• Length – 7.2 miles.

• Grade – moors, woods and fields with mostly well marked paths. Some steep climbs. Can be exposed and/or muddy in parts.

• Refreshments – none on this route.

• Public Toilets – Crowden car park.

• This walk was written and produced by Stocksbridge Walkers Are Welcome for more interesting walks please visit http://www.stocksbridge-walkers.org.uk/

Starting from the car park, we head northwards ascending onto moors before looping back to cross the A628. We then follow the north side of two reservoirs before re-crossing the A628, back to our start.

The early part of the walk involves both strenuous climbs and exposed moorland.

1. Leave the car park, heading away from the main road (A628), keeping the campsite on your left.

Pass through a wooden gate and follow the track. Cross a stone bridge over Crowden Brook.

2. Pass through a metal gate and commence ascending the tarmac track.

3. After 200 m, turn right to join the Pennine Way. Passing through two sets of gate/stile, continue for 400m. Just after a small gate, opposite the memorial to ‘Harry Phillips, ‘ leaving the Pennine Way, take the left turn ascending steeply.

The Pennine Way is a National Trail which runs 267 miles (429 km) from Edale, in the northern Derbyshire Peak District, north through the Yorkshire Dales and the Northumberland National Park and ends at Kirk Yetholm, just inside the Scottish border.

4. After 50m the path moves to open ground. Continue to ascend up the path for 100m picking up a stone wall between higher ground. When you reach a gap in the wall, follow the path to the left ascending steeply. Do not take the path which follows the line of a shallow valley.

5. Cross a dry stone wall and continue to ascend parallel to a wall on your left. Over on your left are Highstone Rocks.

6. Take the wooden stile to cross a fence (wooden posts and wire). To your left are views towards Manchester. Continue ascending. The path levels.

Walk across exposed moorland for 1km, crossing two fords.

7. At Hollins Clough Falls, you pass Lad’s Leap and Millstone Rocks. Continue to follow this well-worn path ascending to two large grass hillocks.

8. The path veers left and begins to descend across moorland. There are a number of boggy areas. You may need to leave the path for short stretches. Just after you cross a stream there is a wooden stile.

There is another stile 50m to your left – take care to take the stile on the right.

9. The path continues slowly descending as, 1 km from Lad’s Leap, it leaves open moorland into woods. You will pass Tintwistle Knarr Quarry on your right.

Situated on a South facing slope, climbers often liken Tintwistle

Knarr to a mini-Millstone Edge. It includes a range of routes of varying difficulties including HVS (Hard Very Severe).

10. Continue for a further 600 m as you descend, following the snaking main path towards the main road, the A628. When you reach the road (and small car park), cross and take the grated road 20 m to the left.

The A628 is a major trunk road and can get very busy. It connects Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire by crossing the Pennines via the Woodhead Pass through the

Peak District National Park. The height and the exposure of the road often creates problems during poor weather. It is occasionally closed due to snowfall or high winds.

11. Pass through woods for 200 m, then at the weir which separates Valehouse and Rhodeswood Reservoirs turn left.

12. Follow the path along the north bank of Rhodeswood Reservoir. Take the central gate at the junction and continue, At a kissing gate, you rejoin the Pennine Way, walking through woods, keeping Torside Reservoir on your right.

13. Continue following the Pennine Way as it crosses the A628, then, as a tarmacked track, passes a disused quarry (on your right) and earthworks (left).

14. At the T-junction when the Pennine Way goes northwards to your left, continue straight onto your previous route and return to the start point.

The Manchester Corporation Waterworks Act 1848 allowed the construction of Torside and Rhodeswood Reservoirs, and an aqueduct to convey the water to the Arnfield reservoir where it would pass through the Mottram Tunnel to Godley.

Rhodeswood Reservoir was constructed by John Frederick Bateman between 1849 and June 1855 as part of the Longdendale chain to supply water from the River Etherow to the urban areas of Greater Manchester. Water is extracted to pass through the Mottram Tunnel to Godley for Manchester. During construction, landslips were a problem. Bateman consulted both Robert Stephenson, and Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Subsequently, pipes were sunk to draw off water from the underlying shale.