Peculiarly attentive readers might just remember that I was intending to put three bijoux guided walks into the Durham County Council guided walks programme for the summer of 2017 (Summer starts 1 April 2017 by the way)
I believe these have probably been accepted and so, it comes time to do an initial reccy. I did cancel a reccy a week or so ago due to a severe attack of post-merlot lassitude but yesterday (Sunday) I decided that me and LTD should get ourselves into gear and go up to St Johns Chapel to have a look.
The route goes along the riverbank, complete with many dippers, to Westgate, up through Slit Wood, along to the Rookhope road then over to Black Hill, down to Queensbury , Wearhead and then along the riverback back to St Johns Chapel
I have to say that its a very nice walk. There is an issue with a collapsed footpath in Slit Wood and, there’s Durham County Council notices announcing that the path is “impassable” It isn’t, though, in fact, it’s quite easy to pass the collapsed bit and, as the actual walk is a long time away, I’m hoping that the gap will have been fixed by then. Provided the water levels in the back are normal, it won’t be a problem (apart from having to ignore the official notices.) I’ll make a decision a week or so before the walk.
Its ten miles.
The pics provide information on the interesting bits…
Slit Mine – wheel from the headgear rescued from the Beck by Charlie Armstrong who lived at the old mill house at the entrance to the wood. He once gave us a tour of the mill and showed foundations which he claimed were evidence that previously the building had been fortified. The smithy was excavated a couple of years ago when Lots Of Money was spent preserving the Slit Mine remains.
Impressions by the smithy doorway from the testing of rock drills. Rock drills were opeated by two mem – one very brave one holding the drill and another with the best eyesight operating the hammer.
Footings for an Armstrong Hydraulic engine and culvert which magically manages to stay up despite the odd shape. Right is the capped shaft with stone seating. Beneath the stone seating is a hole over 500 feet deep. You may consider this whilst tucking in to your cheese and tomato butty.
Don and Gavin Golden built this drystone wall over the summit of Black Hill.
LTD about to respond to a farm dog barking some severalteen miles away. Either that, or somebody has opened a packet of smoky bacon crisps in Nenthead.
Waterfall and ford on the River Wear