Geograph Blog ::

Industrial Day

By Ashley Dace

Due to the good forecast I booked tickets to Manfield Woodhouse at around midnight last night/this morning. What I had planned was quite a task but if it succeeded then the rewards would be great. In the end I managed to geograph something to satisfy most of my interests; geology, industrial history, railways, archaeology and mills.
It was an early start, 6:15am but after a cup of tea I packed up and cycled the 2 miles to Leicester station ready for the 7.25am to Nottingham. Thankfully Tesco was open so I bought some breakfast. After collecting my tickets I had a 20 minute wait, picking up a Metro to pass the time.
The 2 coach East Midlands 158 arrived on time and we departed, this was a stopping service so it took 50 minutes instead of the usual 30 or so on the fast lines.
It was light by the time Nottingham was reached, although the service terminated here it was the same train carrying onto Worksop on the Robin Hood line.
After a good journey looking out of the window at the trams and stations the service stopped at Mansfield Woodhouse station.
SK5363 : Mansfield Woodhouse Station by Ann B
Over the footbridge and onto what was a large colliery spoil heap, now landscaped and planted with trees. I was using the cross country field route to Pleasley, roughly 2 miles. It started off very well, great views over the countryside from the spoil heap. I didn't take any pictures because it was dull and I thought I would get some on the way back. Turning right onto a footpath the problem started, my shoes were not built for mud! Last nights rain has drenched the clay rich fields, two miles of squelching, sliding and navigating puddles slowed me down. Taking just under an hour.
On entering the village I encountered a slope off the field, the steps buried under mud. Getting down that wasn't fun.
Within a short walk I got to my first target, Meden mill.
SK5064 : Meden Mill, Pleasley by Alan Murray-Rust
The watermill was demolished in the 1950s but the steam mill building is now a house.
A short walk up the hill and I reached my second geograph target, already covered on here but you can't have to many. Pleasley colliery is a rare survivor, a bit of a mecca for me.
Making my way to the gates I asked if the site was open, security held me for a second while someone was found. Eventually one of the founding members who saved the site took me round and showed me the two winding engines. I even got invited downstairs to view the steam pipes and drum. I was in there around 45 minutes, enjoying the atmosphere of the site. I said thanks to my guide and headed off on the old Midland route to Bolsover and beyond. The sun was out now and I was in my t-shirt. The railway passed through a large cutting, the upper dolomitic magnesian limestone being exposed. Nothing much exiting out the rock type itself.
A large embankment took the trail in a northern direction, not much remains of the line, all the bridges have gone without a trace. Eventually a car park was reached, the trace of the line fizzled out, now I know this was because of Rowthorne Tunnel, now buried.
A small road was followed until I reached another footpath to Ault Hucknall.
SK4665 : Footpath by Alan Walker
This was a mud fest, not very pleasant. On the way back I took the longer route to avoid it. Ault Hucknall is a very very small village with a farm, church and 2 houses. The church has Saxon carvings as well as a Norman tower.
SK4665 : Detail by Alan WalkerSK4665 : St. John the Baptist Church by Alan Walker
The Yew in the churchyard is over 2,000 years old.
Continuing along the road downhill the noise of the M1 started to disrupt the birdsong and country sounds. A short detour to an old quarry (small) was made. Continuing downhill my milling target was in view, the National Trust's Stainsby mill. I had been to Hardwick hall before and drove past the mill but never been inside.
SK4663 : Hardwick Hall from Hardwick Old Hall by Ashley Dace SK4663 : Hardwick Hall by Ashley Dace SK4565 : Stainsby Mill by Jim Woodward-Nutt
It was quite busy when I walked in but it soon calmed down, thankfully the water was high enough for milling. I was expecting with the national trust lots of safety barriers and wire mesh but there was little to be seen. An interesting pit wheel and wallower arrangement along with a geared waterwheel, as I always do I bought some wholemeal flour (grain from Norfolk/Suffolk border) before heading back to Pleasley. Stupidly no drink was brought so the local post office helped with some nice chilled cans and a packet of wine gums. Next to the post office was the footpath to Meden Vale reserve, wanting to avoid the mud and see some more railway routes I went this way back to the station. A nice old line, one old bridge and some nice cuttings. The Pleasley mills (ex cotton) complex was also passed but pictures impossible.
By now I was feeling my walk, getting to the station I was pleased to see the train back to Nottingham arriving. I stepped on board the train, having covered roughly 13 miles. I also had the ride to and from the station at Leicester so in total 17 miles. Hard work but well worth it!

* Some of my photos, the ones without captions I will return to later. I'll also create a few shared descriptions.
SK5064 : Meden Mill by Ashley Dace SK4964 : Lilleshall Winding Engine by Ashley Dace SK4964 : Markham Steam Winder by Ashley Dace SK4964 : Lilleshall Winding Engine by Ashley Dace SK4964 : Pleasley Colliery by Ashley Dace SK4964 : Pleasley Colliery - Northern Shaft by Ashley Dace SK4964 : Pleasley Colliery by Ashley Dace SK4964 : Westthorpe Colliery Winding Engine by Ashley Dace SK4964 : Pleasley Colliery - Mute Swans by Ashley Dace SK4963 : Lower Magnesian Limestone by Ashley Dace SK4963 : Lower Magnesian Limestone by Ashley Dace SK4863 : Rowthorne Trail by Ashley Dace SK4665 : Ault Hucknall Church by Ashley Dace SK4665 : Exposure of Limestone by Ashley Dace SK4565 : Stainsby Mill - Stones by Ashley Dace SK4565 : Stainsby Mill - Stones by Ashley Dace SK4565 : Stainsby Mill by Ashley Dace SK4565 : Stainsby Mill - Ground Floor by Ashley Dace SK4963 : Railway Cutting by Ashley Dace SK4964 : Mute Swans - Pleasley Country Park by Ashley Dace SK4964 : Mute Swan and Pleasley Colliery by Ashley Dace SK4964 : Pleasley Colliery and Boiler by Ashley Dace SK4964 : Pleasley Colliery by Ashley Dace SK4964 : Pleasley Colliery Country Park by Ashley Dace SK5264 : Old accommodation bridge by Ashley Dace SK5164 : Old Railway Line by Ashley Dace


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Thu, 24 Feb 2011 at 19:05
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