2015 Events

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2015

August 2015: Field trip – Clintsfield Colliery

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This was the society’s third coal-related field trip, and, for surface remains, the most impressive – as reflected in Clintsfield Colliery’s scheduled monument status. Apart from the engine house, the site includes several well-defined mineshaft pits and embankments, horse-gin (winding gear) circles, and the remains of three small reservoirs.

Mike Winstanley led the walk and provided the historical and geological background, with help from member Mike Kelly, who shared his expertise from Mallaig.

The society is grateful to landowner Jeremy Hartley for allowing us to visit the site, which is not publicly accessible.

July 2015: Field trip – Burn Moor Boundaries

Photos by Anne Wilson

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John Wilson led the society’s most strenuous excursion to date, along the boundary between Tatham and Bentham parishes, and between Lancashire and Yorkshire. The physical challenge arose (slightly) from the 600′ climb to the summit of Burn Moor, and (significantly) from the moorland vegetation and bogs. But not, to the relief of all, from the weather, which was perfect.

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Standing on the boundary near Fourstones House, John described what is known about the history of Burn Moor, and of the boundary. There had been, over the centuries, a number of attempts to define the exact position of the boundary by written descriptions. The production later of large-scale maps required that those words be turned into lines, and that required identification of the features mentioned. Repeating that feat was one of the aims of this expedition, and provided an intellectual challenge to rival the physical one; working out locations from unpunctutated archaic descriptions full of archaic place-names would be hard enough without the added distraction of a modern fence which cheerfully ignores the geographical boundary as it marches up the moor.
However, John was equal to the task, and, resolutely refusing the lure of fences and convenient nearby grouse-shooting tracks and paths, led his party up through bogs and knee-deep heather and tussocks, pausing only to allow Mike to explain the different status of the moorland in Lancashire (stinted enclosure) and Yorkshire (common), though many walkers also stopped frequently to admire the excellent views – over Hindburndale to the Forest of Bowland, and over Wenningdale to the Three Peaks and beyond. Near the summit stands the Standard of Burn Moor, three of whose four faces were inscribed in the 19th century with the letters T for Tatham, B for Bentham and N for Newby – now Clapham-cum-Newby.

After a brief detour to the trig pillar, a well-defined path though the heather was followed down to the shooting hut, where the party, refreshed after the easy descent, spurned the access track in favour of a more direct route across the moor, back to the starting point.