Various circumstances lead to this short doggy walk at Bollihope in Weardale starring Molly, Pip, Superdawg and Rachel and Matt.
It was driech (one of the reasons). In fact it drizzled for pretty much all of the walk. We parked at the normally popular pickernicking spot at Bollihope, just left of Frosterley. In summer, there’s often an ice cream van stationed here. Just a tip there for anybody who is fond of a 99 planning a Weardale walk.
And we followed the line of an old tramway down by Bollihope Burn, through the old quarry with the cowboy pass, past White Kirkley and the limekilns and down to Harehope Quarry where the carved seat was and the lump of Frosterley Marble. The marble is exactly the stuff that can be seen in Durham cathedral. Its not really marble, but cooked limestone. Its very near the Slitt Vein which runs from here to Cowshill and goes through Slitt Wood at Westgate – a poplier place for this blog.
I had a brief poke into Harehope Gill Lead Mine and found the water too deep for the wellies. The apparently loose entrance arch stood up to a bit of violence to see if it would fall down on me, and it seems reasonably safe just now.
Apparently, the mine produced 1165 tons of lead ore from the Slitt vein between 1816 and 1888 and the miners’ privy is part of the archaeology. 72 years of miner poo, eh? Its probably just as well that they shovelled it away. The there was another three years of privy visits later on and then it the mine produced fluorspar for a while. How busy the privy was is not recorded.
We returned whence we came. Just under 4 miles. Bruno did a few more as there were no sheep till we got to White Kirkley, so he had a bit of a bounce around.
Then I couldn’t get the wellies off as they were full of water. Its the suction, y’know. One day they’ll stick permanently.
This is an interesting and easy walk with lots of geology and industrial archaeology to gawp at.
We all got fairly damp, specially those with the extra legs.