Rivington Barn to Roddlesworth – Western Section

Rivington Hall Barn to Roddlesworth Information Centre at Tockholes.

This 8.2 miles section of The West Pennine Way like all other sections can be walked in Stages. Rivington Hall Barn to Rivington Village Green is 0.4 mile, Rivington Village Green to White Coppice is 3.8 miles, White Coppice to Roddlesworth Information centre is 4 miles.

 

Click Basic route instructions Rivington Hall Barn to Roddlesworth for this section of the West Pennine Way
Click Links to Urban Areas for transport links to this section of the West Pennine Way
Click Photos – Rivington to Roddlesworth to see photos of this section

More detailed maps for this walk can be seen using the links below.

Click Rivington to White Coppice to see a map of this section of the walk
Click White Coppice to Roddlesworth to see a map of this section of the walk

There is good car parking at Rivington Hall Barn post code BL6 7SB Grid ref. 632145 and Roddlesworth Information Centre & café post code BB3 0PA Grid Ref.665215 and various places near the route, together with opportunities for refreshments at cafes and public houses, Rivington Village Green café, and Roddlesworth Info. café and The Kings Arms at Tockholes are on route and others close to the route.  

Leave Rivington Hall Barn car park by taking the wide stony track on the right of the car park entrance, passing  the barrier  continue to the sign for Chapel House Wood.  Here take the footpath right through the wood to the road.  Turn left and after a short distance pass the Village Green Café and through the chapel grounds to the village green with its village stocks.

Rivington Village Green 'Let's have a go!'

Rivington Village Green ‘Let’s have a go!’

Rivington Unitarian Chapel was built in 1703 and still retains its box pews. Like lots of the buildings in Rivington it is grade two listed. The chapel’s motto is, “Here is quietness for the healing of our spirit; Here is history for the background of our lives; Here let no one be a stranger”.  In 1795 a Sunday School was  started in the adjacent school house with a library added in 1821, when the library closed in 1985 the old school house became a café, which is now called the Village Green Café.

Turn right after leaving the church to cross the road which you have just walked down and go through gate in the hedge and follow well used footpath through the meadow, then by the stream onto a tarmac lane.  Turn right and follow this tree lined lane uphill as far as it goes, take stile on left of the field gate.Continue on path through fields and over stiles keeping Yarrow reservoir on left, then continue in same direction ignoring footpaths off to the right and head towards fenced off wooded area, way marker on the corner of fencing points to the kissing gate which leads onto the minor road. Turn left to go down the road and over Alance Bridge, continue round bend for about 10 metres before turning right up a slope and over stile.From here to White Coppice the route goes through many good grazing fields with stunning views across the Rivington reservoirs built in the 1850’s and once known as  “The Little Lake District”. Anglezarke Reservoir on the left is the largest and most northerly of the 3 “Rivington Lakes” set in beautiful and peaceful scenery.DSC00825Head straight on up the field to the wooden finger post at the top of the hill.  Turn left, signed “Jepson’s Farm”. The footpath is difficult to see but, keep to the highest ground and head for the ladder stile.  Once over this continue straight on keeping wall on your right to the next stile. Head to the right of Jepson’s farm buildings ahead and take stile going between buildings onto minor road.  Jepson’s Farm was formerly a 17th century Inn.Turn right up Moor road, after about 100 metres go over the ladder stile on the left.  Again this footpath is difficult to see, but it follows the line of telegraph poles to the gap in the trees ahead.  Go over stile then keeping farm buildings on your left follow fencing round to where there is a gate, here go over stile which is on the right of the gate, turn immediately right to go over another stile and then through a gate onto a minor road.  Here turn left then take footpath left through wall opposite the front of Manor House.

The Manor House dated 1604, is a grade two listed building and was formerly known as High Bullough from a family of that name.  It is an imposing building with playing card symbols on the facia boards.DSC00814Walk across the field, through kissing gate, then down steep slope, take care in wet weather as water from a drain runs down the footpath,  after crossing footbridge continue downhill passing woodland trail sign on right and High Bullough Reservoir on the left.

Trail in Anglezarke Country park

Trail in Anglezarke Country park

In 1850 Chorley like most other local industrial towns was growing rapidly and needed a better water supply, so the Council decided to build this reservoir which was originally called Chorley Reservoir. In 1857, Liverpool started work on 3 new reservoirs in Rivington and took responsibility for Chorley’s water supply. This reservoir is now disconnected from the water supply and has become a wild life haven.

At cross paths turn right to follow main path with wooded hill on the left. Round the bend Anglezarke Reservoir comes into view. Walking parallel to the reservoir continue on this woodland trail to tarmac minor road.  Turn left for 10 metres before taking footpath on the right to follow stony track up the hill and round the bend from here head for the metal gate on the left and go over the stile next to the gate and cross the stone bridge over the goit, a man made channel built in the 1850’s to carry water from two higher level reservoirs to those at Rivington.Turn right and follow bridleway as it goes down a dip leave the bridleway to go through small metal gate on the left and follow footpath through the field passing tree on the left which has a hole in its trunk, continue to the stone wall and follow this to next stile, then follow fencing on the right down towards White Coppice. Turn right after Barnfield House to follow lane passing cottages and farm down to T junction of tracks.  Here turn right to cricket ground and walk round the ground passing in front of the pavilion.

White Coppice started as an industrial village with lead and coal mining, quarrying for stone and a mill, but now it is an attractive hamlet nestling in a valley below the moorland with only the mill lodges as a reminder of yesteryear.  The cricket ground, although not at all level, must be the most picturesque in the whole of Lancashire and a very pleasant stopping place to eat a packed lunch.  On match days beverages can be bought from the pavilion.

 

White Coppice

White Coppice

Take footpath through kissing gate and over bridge and through next kissing gate, then turn left to follow stony track, at fork turn right to go steeply uphill and on through gap in stone wall continue on moorland path.

View worth another look back

View worth another look back

On the way up it is well worth stopping and turning round to see the marvellous view unfolding behind you, with White Coppice in the foreground and  the Fylde coast and the Irish sea in the distance, between which is the huge expanse of the Lancashire Plains. 

It is hard to imagine that this moorland was at one time a hive of activity with quarrying, mining or lead and coal as well as farming. Now only a few remains of these can be seen.

At the T junction of paths turn right signed to “Belmont Road”, soon passing the ruins of Drinkwaters Farm, with its cluster of sycamore trees, once shielding the farm from the wind.  Continue on, forking left to head for the top of “Great Hill” with its stone seating in the shape of a cross, offering shelter from the wind and a chance to look at all the marvellous views stretching out far and wide.A paved path goes off to the right, but unfortunately our route goes over the rough and sometimes boggy moorland plateau in roughly a North Easterly direction.  Darwen Tower can be seen in the distance. Take care at the bottom of the first steep slope as it is easy to go on the wrong path. (Route does not go past tree and ruins which are nearby) Take the right fork at the bottom of the first steep slope to head for the isolated building (called Piccadilly) on the A675 in the distance. Continue down grass covered stony path, then steps and across stream then over stile to follow well-worn path down to main road. Cross the road and turn right after about 100 metres turn left on footpath signed Hollinshead Hall. Go through kissing gate enter Roddlesworth Woods. At the T junction it is well worth doing a detour right to visit the Well House and ruins of the Hollinshead Hall just a short distance away.

Hollinshead Hall was rebuilt in 1776 by John Hollinshead.  It had previously been a large farmhouse probably built many centuries earlier. John’s relatives lived in the hall until it was sold in 1845 to Eccles Shorrock a Blackburn mill owner, but by the early 1900’s it had fallen into disrepair and was bought together with the surrounding land by Liverpool Corporation Waterworks, although the buildings were knocked down and the stone used to build stone walls and some cottages in Belmont the Corporation restored the impressive Well House which can be seen today.  It is kept locked, but you can see inside through the barred windows.  A lion head spout carries the water in from the springs and then into stone tanks beneath.  It is an eerie place said to be haunted.  The water from this ancient well was said to cure for eye complaints.

 

The Well House

The Well House

Retrace your steps to the T junction and continue straight on after 20 metres turn right betweencarved gate posts and continue straight on where paths cross, passing a stone block on the left.  Keeping to main stony path follow to just before the wall at the main road.  Here turn left on footpath which runs parallel to wall and road on the right.  This path leads to a disused car park.Take footpath on opposite side of car park still keeping wall and road on the right.  At the fork in path go left,  still keeping parallel with the wall and road, then go over stile in fencing and follow footpath to the end of the woods. Turn right and Roddlesworth Information Centre is behind bus shelter opposite.

The café is a perfect place to end the walk, not only does it serve very good home- made food but you have the opportunity of  looking through the one way glass window to watch wild birds feeding. These include greater spotted woodpecker, nuthatches, chaffinches and many more.