Friday 24th May 2024

Friday 24th May 2024

Come Walking Series: Holcombe, Harcles Hill, Peel Tower

The walk this evening started at Lumb Carr car park, where thirteen walkers began the route by crossing Lumb Carr Road, and joining a footpath that took us onto Holcombe Old Road. After turning right, we followed the cobbled track to where it joins Cross Lane and made our way through Holcombe Village. Once through the village the track changes its name to Moor Road, which we followed up to the access lane to Harcles Hill Farm. After walking up the lane for a short distance we joined a narrow path, on our right, which traversed around Harcles Hill and eventually took us to a small cairn on the side of the hill.

Side of Harcles Hill


Once we had got our breath back, we turned right onto the newly paved footpath to Pilgrim’s Cross. On the four sides of the cross are the inscription:

“On this site stood the ancient Pilgrims Cross. It was standing in A.D. 1176 and probably much earlier. Pilgrims to Whalley Abbey prayed and rested here.”

“In A.D. 1176 and in A.D. 1225 the Pilgrims Cross is named in charters of gifts of land in Holcombe Forest. In A.D. 1662 King Charles II gave this manor to General Monk, Duke of Abermarle through whom it has descended to the present lord of the manor.”

“Nothing is known of the removal of the ancient cross, but its massive, socketed foundation remained here until August 1901”

“This memorial stone was placed here May 24th 1902 by the copyholders of the manor and others”.

The old photograph shows fourteen horses and two trucks carrying the stones onto the moor.

Transporting the cross

The cross


From the cross we headed across the very wet moor in the direction of Holcombe Valley, where we had misty views over the picturesque valley and beyond to Winter Hill and the tall buildings of Manchester. We continued along the edge of the valley for a short distance before joining another paved footpath, which lead to another local landmark, that of Peel Tower.

Holcombe Valley

Heading for the tower

The tower is a memorial to Sir Robert Peel, who was born in Bury in 1788, and was twice elected as UK Prime Minister and was responsible for the repel of The Corn Laws as well as the introduction of the police force, hence the name Bobbies. The tower is 128 feet tall and was built in 1852 at a cost of £1000, the money being raise through public subscription.

Peel Tower

After admiring the tower for a short time, we turned left on the track, walking as far as the metal gate, where we joined a narrow footpath on our right that took us down the hill and back onto Holcombe Old Road where we retraced our steps to the car park having covered four historic miles.