Two Towers Walk – Wednesday 25th October 2017




Grant’s Tower

Peel Tower

Thirteen walkers met at the Hare & Hounds on a bright Wednesday morning on what was promised to be a fine and sunny day. Three new walkers had joined the group in response to the advertisement in the Greater Manchester walking booklet. We started the walk by making our way down Woodhey Road and into Holcombe Book Valley where the brook was more like a torrent due to the recent heavy rains. At the bottom of the valley we turned right and walked along Robin Lane towards Summerseat Village turning left at the Italian Restaurant and on towards the bridge where the Waterside Hotel was destroyed in the Boxing Day foods of 2015.

Destruction of the Waterside 2015

We spent some time on the bridge admiring the views looking up the valley which could not be seem before the building was destroyed. The building was originally the canteen and nursery for Joshua Hoyle’s 19th century cotton mill.

Once safely across the bridge we made our way up Hill Street and into Bass Lane which lead us to the A56 where we took the footpath on the opposite side of the road leading to Bass House and onto Bury Old Road. Again we spent some time admiring the views across the West Pennines looking towards Winter Hill and the Rossendale Valley. Here we turned left climbing up hill to Top O Th Hoof Farm and Grant’s Tower.

Ruins of Grant’s Tower


The tower was built by Daniel and William Grant (1829) and is said to mark the spot where the Grants had the first sight of the town where they were to make their fortune, having travelled from Scotland. The present owner of the tower is undertaking restoration work.

Here we stopped for morning coffee and spent some time exploring the ruins of the tower.

View from Grant’s Tower


After our rest we followed the footpath which passes the tower turning right at the bottom of the slope and eventually climbing up along the top of Fletcher’s Quarry. Fletcher Bank sandstone has been used on many prestigious construction projects throughout the UK and is part of the Marshall Group.

The descent from the quarry was very difficult as the heavy rain had washed away the top surface of the path leaving just the rough boulders to walk on. At the bottom of the path we re-joined Bury Old Road for a short distance before making our way through the fields to Shuttleworth and on to Stubbins where we stopped for lunch, with some of our group enjoying the hospitality of The Village Chippy.

Lunch at Stubbins

Once refreshed we continued our route to Strongstry and onto Buckden Woods, where the leaves were alight with colour due to the bright sunshine and autumn tints. The climb up to Moor Bottom Road through Buckden Woods is always a challenge but with a couple of stops we made is successfully.

Buckden Wood

Our next challenge was to find the Postman in Harcles Quarry which we did by making our way along Moor Bottom Road and turning right along the path which leads to Harcles Farm. Harcles Quarry is a disused gritstone quarry, a popular sight for rock climbers.

The Postman Harcles Quarry

From the quarry we crossed the very wet West Pennine Moors back to the second tower on our walk, Peel Tower, which was built in 1851 in memory of Sir Robert Peel, a British Prime Minister who is remembered as founded of the Police Force and for having the abolished the Corn Laws which were designed to keep the price of corn high in order to make the wealthy land owners even richer.

Walk back to the tower

We were fortunate to have the loan of the key to the tower which meant we were able to climb it’s 148 steps and enjoy the views from the top.

The final section of our walk was a gentle descent back to the Hare & Hounds having covered a distance of 11.5 miles.