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Sunday, 13 February 2011

Bollihope Wet Dogs Club

molly and bruno
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.
no fishing in the frog pond
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.
pieman and superdawg
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.
harehope gill mine entrance
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.
bollihope quarry
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.
frosterley marble
close up frosterley marble fossils


Laura said...

Wot no plastic rain-mate for Superdawg?

The Odyssee said...

Thats a cracking piece of marble. I’m surprised it hasn’t been lifted.
Is that a one piece wet suit you are wearing!
And what a lovely inquisitive face that Molly has.

Mike Knipe said...

Laura - Bruno doesn't seem to mind a bit of rain. The other mongrels would laugh at him in a raincoat.
Alan - Thats not a one piece, its a paramo top and berghause overtrousers which have a mind of their own. I'm not using them again!
The marble prolly weighs half a tonne and is in a difficult spot for a vehicle, so there's not much chance of it being nicked. The waterfall nearby has a floor of enormous marble slabs just like this.... remarkable, really.,..

IckleBigSis said...

Both Molly and Pip enjoyed their outing and slept most of the remaining afternoon. :)

Molly particularly enjoyed sticking her head down rabbit holes, seeing some tasty chickens and some rather yummy looking sheep. Now she's stalking the cats.

The Odyssee said...

It’s good to know that the Victorians left something for us to admire in it’s rightful place.

Tilly said...

I think that looks a very interesting walk. I like to visit places with history, they give off a sort of atmosphere.