Pendle Weekend  - The Wainwright Centenary

Date & Time: Saturday 20th January 2007. 9.50 am start.

Location of Start : Four Lanes Ends, A59 Near Clitheroe, Lancashire Uk. ( SD 760 416 )

Places visited : Little Mearley Hall, Scout Cairn Pendle Hill, (The Beacon) Ogden Clough, Mearley Moor, Mearley Hall, Four Lane Ends.

Walk details : 7.5 mls, 1550 ft of ascent , 5 hrs 30 mins.

Walked with : Sixteen members and friends of the OFC and/or the Wainwright Society.

Weather : The forecast was for cold weather, high winds and wintery showers. We had all three, but fortunately the wintery shower was restricted to one short one near the end, which wasn't a problem.

Sam (Steve's dog) is delighted to see his friends again - and keen to let everyone know.


Alfred Wainwright, Author of the famous guidebooks to the Lakes, was born on the 17th January 1907, and his centenary was being celebrated this week with a number of events both in the Lakes and in his home town. This weekend was to be the official Memorial Service to AW in Blackburn Cathedral, so the Fellwalking Club organised a Saturday Memorial Walk on Pendle Hill in Lancashire.

Pendle is one of the larger local hills in this part of the county and was one of Wainwright's haunts in his early life. He started a Walking Club known as the Pendle Club during his time in Blackburn, so it was a fitting place to walk and remember this great man.

The old A59 road provided convenient parking at the start of our walk.

Pendle Hill behind as we set off across the waterlogged fields.

The recent rain made the going difficult, as everyone searched for their own patch of drier ground to cross the field.

Passing the barn at Lane Side. Andrew points out the hill ahead.

Pendle Hill

Our route would take us across to the wooded valley on the left then up towards the hill.

We climbed up alongside the diagonal looking cleft (to the left of the pole).

Our first target was the Scout Cairn on the top above the three sheep in the foreground (I hope they don't move by the time you read this !)

First we had to say hello to the locals. Jill in blue, Pete in red and the horse in muddy black and white.

Harry and Bethan also wanted to join in but the other horse was just that bit too small to see.

Little Mearley Hall at the bottom of the wooded valley.

Away from the farm and into the woodland as we start to gain height.

Pete points out the steep drop as we cross the wall onto the open fell.

One of the larger cascades on Mearley Beck
The way became steeper and more slippery as we followed the beck up.

On the ridge now, Roy and Richard shelter from the wind behind the Scout Cairn.

As the others follow up behind, I took the opportunity to walk to the edge of the escarpment for a better view over the surrounding countryside.

Clitheroe Town and behind it, the area known as the Forest of Bowland.

Below is, Worsaw Hill and Worsaw End Farm. A limestone hill in a grit stone environment.

The Farm was famous as the film location for Hayley Mills's "Whistle Down the Wind" film of the 1960's.

Downham Village, famous for its old world charm and beloved by TV and film makers to this today.

The Assheton Arms was also home to one of the best Fish and Chip meals we've ever tasted (click here for that walk).

Beyond the Scout Cairn and further along the hill is a beautifully formed round shelter. It was about ten feet diameter and has a fine circular seat inside.

Andrew leans out to see whether the wind has dropped below "gale force" yet.

Liz holding tight to the stile in the high winds

We rounded the northern edge of the hill and walked a short way down the Barley Green path

where we stopped out of the wind for a spot of lunch.

Pino enjoyed a few extra moments contemplating the view on this side of the hill.

Back up to the top for a Team photo.

Roddie, Liz, Brian, Roy, David, Geoff, Pino (with sunglasses), David, Jill, Richard and Stephen.

(front row) Myself, Stuart, Ann plus Harry and Pete . (Andrew, Bethan and Sam were busy elsewhere it seems)

It had been a quiet walk so far and the first people we met was this large group making their way up the paved path as we left to go down it.

The stone paving slabs across the peat bog . . .
led us over to Ogden Clough

The wind was still strong ! . . .

So we sheltered alongside a higher part of the wall as we re-grouped for the final part of the walk.

A pool bisected by the wall on Mearley Moor ~ which came first, the pool or the wall ?

The Clayton Harrier's Cairn
As we left the high ground we turned west down towards Clitheroe.

Long shadows, cast by the late afternoon sun, highlight the barn and the old furrows in the field.

Bethan waits by the wall.
The recent heavy rain meant wet ground and several new streams

It was then a short walk back across the farmland, over the new A59 roadway and back to the car

after a cool and blustery but very rewarding day out.

- - - o o o - - -

After excellent hospitality from Peter's family, most of us met up for a beer and a chat out of the wind and rain, in the New Inn in Clitheroe.

Alan (Burgess) chats to Roddie and Stuart
Peter, Stephen and Roy.

We then adjourned across the road for an excellent meal and talk by Mark Richards, at the Old Post House.

Peter introduced Mark Richards . . .
. . . who talked to us about his many Wainwright experiences.

And so to bed !

- - - o o o - - -

Liz had offered us accommodation overnight in Silsden, so it was a cloudy and slightly damp morning that greeted us on Sunday.

First priority - a walk for the dogs up Nab End, the western part of Ilkley Moor.

Silsden and the slightly flooded Airedale from below Nab End


This is rocky grit stone country. Over the wall they were preparing for some motorbike cross-country trials.

On the top we were in open country. A slight wintery covering of the grass indicates the temperature this morning.

A close up of the wind farms of Chelker Reservoir, and the snow on the hills further north beyond Wharfedale.

Liz, Ann and Harry, and a rare patch of sunshine as we reach the mid point of this short walk.

Time now to be heading for Blackburn and the Cathedral, but we hadn't bargained for this slight delay along the way.

A passing barge claims right of way by swinging the bridge !
Other vessels moored on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal


Twelve O'clock was our deadline for the start of the lunchtime AGM of the Wainwright Society,

so with a few minutes to spare we parked in the Church grounds, settled the dogs and made our way round the Cathedral grounds to the Crypt.


Blackburn Cathedral
with it's delightful, modern central tower.


Geoff, Mark, Peter, Ann and Liz
The meeting was called to order by Eric Robson.


and was held in the crypt of the Cathedral.


Presentation time to two young Wainwright mountaineers.
and a smile for the camera.

Jordon Ross, the youngest completer so far at the age of 9yrs 7 mths, and Jonathon Broad who was just five days older when, with his Dad, he completed all the 214 Lakeland fells in under a year (Jan to October 2006).

The well attended service was held in the Cathedral at 2 pm,
Music by the Salvation Army Band and the Cathedral Organ.

The Memorial Service included hymns that were known to be Wainwright's favourites, with readings from his books and contributions by members of the Wainwright Society, the Blackburn Football Supporters Club and by friends and family.

It really was a fitting appreciation of a great man.

Alfred Wainwright 1907 - 1991

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon G7 Digital camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . an understanding about that bit of Grit on Haystacks.

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Previous walk - 16th January 2007 Stickle Pike and Caw with Sean

A previous time up here - Pendle Hill and Downham

Next walk - 22nd January 2007 A Wainwright Fell for a late walk