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" Sheffield and Millstone Edge "

Date & start time:      24th December 2022.  11.15 am start.

Location of Start :     Surprise View car park, near Sheffield, S.Yorkshire, Uk. ( SK 252 801).

Places visited :          Over Owler Tor, Mothers Cap, Lawrence Field, Bole Hill Quarry.

Walk details :              2.25 miles, 375 ft of ascent, 1 hours 20 mins.

Highest point :           Over Owler Tor, 1235 ft - 380m.

Walked with :              Jenna, Matt, Emily and the dogs, Dylan and Dougal.

Weather :                     Sunshine and blue skies, with warm morning sunshine.


© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.


The weather on Christmas Eve was perhaps the exact opposite of the day before,

so before I drove an hour north to Harewood for Christmas I had the chance to join with Jenn and Matt for a walk,

out onto one of the grit stone "edges" for which the Peak District is famous.

Miss Emily growing a-pace and now starting to fill the first size baby clothes that she has.


Wrapped up warm ready for a walk

. . . unlike the dogs who just take whatever weather is thrown at them without even a jacket or boots.

We've driven out of Sheffield on the road over Burbage Moor, out to the car park at "Surprise View".

The signboard gives a background to the area and what we might see this morning.

Unusually they also have a night sky information board which was a delight to see.

We set off up one of the many paths towards Millstone Edge and to that "surprise view".

Well it was a rather nice view, presented to us as we reached the top of the slope.

We looked out across the River Derwent and the railway as they both make their way up the Hope Valley.

The grit stone edge is beloved by rock climbers because of the tactile nature of the rock and the interesting climbs it affords.

Ahead the Hope Valley splits, with the Derwent flowing down from the Ladybower Reservoir in the gap behind Jenna.

Ahead and to the left are Lose Hill and the ridge up to Mam Tor, beyond Castleton Village and the famous cement works.

The highest point locally is Over Owler Tor which is currently been visited by a large family group plus many other walkers.

Down by the roadside beyond the car park is the original Owler Tor that this one apparently "looks over".

"Owler" is a local name for the adder or viper snake.  Presumably the exposed rock was a regular spot to find them, basking in the sun to warm up.

There were none spotted on our particular rock today.
We head back down to the "Mothers Cap" outcrop.

On the way down we also passed the hippo, the crocodile or whatever name you wish to give it.

Dylan and Dougal obviously were not bothered about it waking up and chasing them !

We also passed several old millstones for which this part of the Peak District is famous.

The hard grits stone was particularly suited to the manufacture of grinding stones for the grain milling industry.

- - - o o o - - -

This led to a discussion about a store of these part-finished millstones that she had seen at a local quarry.

We checked the map and crossed the road at the car park to an area known as Lawrence Field.

From there we walked to a lower part of the Millstone Edge and found a path down through the rocks.

Below was a flat area which had been the working floor of a large stone quarry.

A part completed mill stone which gave clues on its method of manufacture.
Around the corner was a large quarry, complete with a flooded pool.

Alongside the exit road there was an abandoned group of fully completed mill stones.

- - - o o o - - -


Apparently the English production of dressed stone

collapsed overnight following, first the competition from France

and then from the new development of modern steel milling machines.


The collapse was so sudden that a large stock of worked stone

suddenly became uneconomic to sell

and were just left at the quarry when the company folded.


We counted fifty or sixty,

but apparently there were nearly two hundred,

many of which were hidden in the vegetation of the intervening years.


- - - o o - - -

The quarry was larger than expected and had modern access tracks to it that didn't quite match with the history.

- - - o o o - - -


When we got home and read Chris Goddard's book on the Peaks

it turned out that this quarry re-opened in 1901

to produce much of the facing stone

for the Derwent Dams of Ladybower and Howden.

The quarry had a work force of 400 at its peak

and it was a busy place for the ten years of its productive life.

- - - o o - - -

So the dogs have had a good walk, we've enjoyed the visit and I've learnt a lot more about the area than I knew before.

We've also enjoyed the sunshine so that's a bonus all round.

Time to head north for Christmas.

- - - o o o - - -

Hi Roger

The reason for the Dark Sky information board is that Surprise View is one of three official Dark Sky sites in the Peak District. John and I have gone up there a couple of times to shoot some astro-photography with varying success as not surprisingly you do get quite a bit of light pollution from Sheffield and Hathersage. The others are at Minninglow which we visit a lot before it was an official site, as it is closest to us and at Parsley Hay.

Angela and John

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with my Panasonic iPhone 11 pro camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . new sharp kitchen knives for Christmas (no need for a millstone !)

Go to Home Page . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 22/23rd December - Sheffield and Hardwick

A previous time up here  - 3rd January 2020 - Sheffield - Mam Tor

Next walk - 25/26th December - Harewood for Christmas


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