Friday 2nd June 2023

Friday 2nd June 2023

Come Walking Series, Barrow Bridge and Smithills Moor

On a glorious summers evening twenty-nine walkers met in the model village of Barrow Bridge. The picturesque cottages were built in the 18th century to house the workers in Dean Mill, which was the first cotton mill to use Samuel Crompton’s Spinning Mules. After walking through the village, for a short distance we climbed the sixty-three steps that were used by the coal miners when walking to the pits, on Winter Hill. Once at the top of the steps we paused for few minutes to get our breath back, before heading through the woods and across the fields to Walker Fold.

Miner’s Steps

Walker Fold

After crossing Walker Fold Road, we joined a footpath down to a footbridge, over Dean Brook, from where we could see the “cigarette tunnel”, through which the brook flows, and where it is said, underage smokers would meet to enjoy an illicit cigarette. Once across the bridge we climbed several more steps, through the woods until we arrived at Cote Farm. From here we turned left and headed down to another footbridge before climbing even more steps and eventually arriving on Coal Pit Lane.

Dean Brook

Climb to Coal Pit Lane

Our route then took us through a difficult stile and up a very steep and narrow path, known locally as Roscoe’s Tenement. At the top of the path, we turned right on the track that leads down to, Winter Hill Rights of Way memorial stone. The stone commemorates the largest mass trespass in Britain,1896, which was a response against the landowner, Colonel Ainsworth, who blocked the access along this track, that leads to Winter Hill. The protest was not successful, and it was not until 1966 that the track was open to the public. Several of our walkers wanted to see the stone and they headed down the track with a couple of walk leaders.

Roscoe’s Tenement

Memorial Stone


The remainder of us continued our climb onto Smithills Moor and soon arrived at Dean Mills Reservoir, where we had glorious views as far as Jodrell Band telescope in Cheshire.

Smithills Moor

Glorious Views

Dean Mills Reservoir

Our decent took us down to Colliers Row Road, where we met up with the other group and headed back to Barrow Bridge having covered 5 energetic miles.

The Decent

Barrow Bridge