Wednesday 26th October 2022
Circular Brierfield Country Park to Wycoller
Today’s walk was the third in a series of walks designed to visit the panopticons, situated on the Pennine Hills. The walk began at the car park on Halifax Road, near the old Pill Box where on a clear day Brierfield can be seen in the valley below, unfortunately rain clouds and low mist obscured the view this morning. Fifteen walkers headed down the road, turning right at the finger post, and soon joining the Bronte Way on our left.
As we walked through Will Moor Clough the clouds began to lift and we could enjoy clear views of Pendle Hill to our left, along with the glorious autumn tints of the trees and bracken in the foreground. Further along the track we encountered a large herd of cattle that were reluctant to move out of the way, forcing some of our walkers to take an alternative route. Our stop for coffee was behind a stone wall, on the moors, as by this time a cool breeze had reduced the temperature.
After coffee we made our way to Wycoller, but not before visiting the Atom. The Atom Panopticon, built in 2007, is a hollow metal sculpture providing clear views over Wycoller Country Park and to Pendle Hill in the distance. Unfortunately, a mirror ball in the sculptures centre used to view the scenery was stolen soon after it was built.
By now it was lunchtime, so we made our way down to the hamlet of Wycoller and ate our lunch in the ruins of Wycoller Hall. The hall was made famous in Charlotte Bronte’s novel, Jane Eyre, as it was the real Ferndean Manor. The Bronte family were regular visitors to Wycoller, as Haworth is only nine miles across the moors.
After spending some time exploring the ruins and the many bridges, we headed across one of the bridges and joined a track leading back onto the moors, passing many small farms before re-joining the Bronte Way and heading back to Briarfield. Back at the car park we were rewarded by the clear views down into the valley that we missed at the start of the 10 mile walk.