Haslingden Grane

 

 

The streets of London may not have been paved with gold much to the disappointment of Dick Whittington but many of them are paved with the next best thing – Lancashire stone quarried in the Grane Valley close to Haslingden. This walk takes you past the vast workings along the Rossendale Way before returning by way of Holden Wood Reservoir and Musberry Heights. 

Start/Finish: Clough Head Information Centre and Café BB4 4AT

 

Fact file:
Distance 6 Miles 10k
Time: 2 ½ - 3 ½ hours
Grade: Moderate
Map OS Explorer 287 The West Pennine Moors.

 

Map by kind permission of Johnston Press 

Directions.
1. From the car park take a path leading past the café and toilets to the left to join a broad track. After a gate follow the track as it swings to the left. As it reaches a fence turn right

 

and soon after enter a dense conifer plantation. Follow the path as it takes you to the far side with a view over impressive Jamestone Quarry.

 

From the corner by the quarry the path leads uphill by fence to intercept the Rossendale Way. Turn right.

 

The Way is well signed with bright yellow signs.

 

At first it follows the edge of the quarry with its frequent warning signs. Next it descends to a wooden footbridge

 

and then climbs to meet the base of a steep escarpment below Thirteen Stone Hill

 

where it turns right. Keep on the Rossendale Way for the next mile and a half on an obvious course contouring the side of the hill. Above a plantation of conifers it meets a farm track

 

and continues to - surprise, surprise - a farm, the only habitation encountered so far.

 

2. The Rossendale Way passes the farm to its left but your way is through a metal gate entering the farm yard. Past a barn turn right onto the drive. This takes you past another vast quarry on your left.

 

After the track bears left it starts its descent towards Haslingden. As it does cross a stile on the right.

 

Follow a grassy track downhill

 

with the cemetery below to the left. As you reach a wall turn left on a track that brings you to the rear of the cemetery. Turn right

 

and then left into a yard close to Holden Hall Cottages. Take the drive down to the busy A6177 Grane Road. Cross the road close to a church converted into an antiques centre turn left and then turn right

 

in front of the Holden Arms. Almost immediately take a service road

 

on the right leading to Holden Wood Reservoir.

 

After crossing the dam end turn right at the far side and follow the track

 

for almost 500yds. Just before it enters farm property

 

turn left over a ladder stile.

3. There is no obvious path across this field but the aim is to cross it to its far right corner below a clump of tall trees next to a farmhouse.

 

Over the stile and turn right to join the lower of two paths. Keep on this

 

as it heads towards Ogden Reservoir. The path goes round or through an old incline and then climbs to join another section of the Rossendale Way.

 

Keep on this

 

until you are above Calf Hey Reservoir. After a gate

 

turn right near an isolated tree to cross a stile

 

and then drop to a gate

 

at the dam end of the reservoir. Cross over the dam

 

and as the service road starts to climb take a footpath on the right leading through trees

 

to Calf Hey Reservoir car Park a United Utilities facility. Through the car park take a path on the left which likewise cuts a corner of the service road. As it rejoins it on a bend bear left to another path that climbs to the Grane Road. As you reach it cross to a footpath on the far side

 

leading through trees to your starting point.

 

POI Hard to believe now but in the middle of the nineteenth century the valley of Haslingden Grane contained a thriving community. About 1500 people lived in the valley, some 600 of them in a village close to the main road to Blackburn, and the rest in several dozen farms and hamlets scattered around the valley.

By the 1920s almost everyone had left Haslingden Grane. There had been a gradual decline in the opportunities for employment within the valley, and in addition the creation of a string of three reservoirs accelerated the process of depopulation.

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