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Horwich, Georges Lane, Burnt Edge Lane, Winter Hill Brick & Tile Works, Winter Hill, Spitlers Edge, Great Hill, White Coppice, Lancashire.
[19.5 km]  Thu 12 Nov 2020

OS Grid ref: SD 65942 11377
Lat/Long: 53.5978510, -2.5160920

Set off on another walk from Horwich, Over winter Hill and back home but by a different route. As my bus pass didn't come into effect until 09:30am I walked to the Hardacre Lane stop where the bus is scheduled to pick up at 09:31. The 125 bus arrived exactly at 09:30 but I was OK with my pass. The weather was much better than last week and I could see some sunshine. Through Horwich I continued up the hill and got off at Georges Lane bus stop. I started walking along Georges Lane for a short way then right up a muddy path to the higher road of Matchmoor Lane.
Georges Lane.

 Horwich Sports Stadium from Matchmoor Lane.
I had clear views as I walked along the lane and could look out across Horwich and Bolton. I took a left turn at Burnt Edge Lane and continued up along a deterioration track. Eventually it became a path but was firm and stoned so easy to follow. It took a few twists and turns until I approached the main access road to Winter Hill transmitter masts. I didn’t go that far but stopped a while at the site of the Winter Hill Brick and Tile Works. There are some remains to be seen but not much historical information about it.
Dave Lane's researches have come up with the following:
The brick works were probably once known as “Five Houses Fire Brickand Tile works” as can be seen from an advert in the Bolton Chronicle on the 19th February 1849 which read:
TO BE LET. An extensive and well established Fire Brick and Tile Works,situated at the Five Houses, Horwich Moor, the present proprietor being desirous of retiring from the business.
The works are complete with Steam Engine, Grinding and Crushingapparatus, Stoves, Drying Houses, Ovens, Moulds and every convenience for carrying out business.The clay and coal being of superior quality, and are got on the premises at very trifle expense.

Winter Hill Brick and Tile Works.

Kestrel overhead

To the north is an old tramway to a couple of old mine entrances so I followed the track and could see some brick surfacing. The mine entrances were filled in.

Paving on the old tramway.

Working on the transmitter mast.

Scotchman's Post on the left.

Commemorating the death of thirty-five members of the motor trade from the Isle of Man, whose Bristol Wayfarer crashed near this plaque, 27th February 1958. Erected by the Rotary Clubs of Douglas and Horwich 27.02.2008

Two Lads main cairn.

 Gateposts on the Chorley / Blackburn with Darwen border.
Carved in the stone post below the paque is an Ordnance Survey benchmark. It is the height above Ordnance Survey datum which used to be the mean sea level at Liverpool but is now mean sea level at Newlyn, Cornwall. At one time there were around 500,000 benchmarks but this one is of particular interest as it is the highest in the Chorley District at 446.92m (1,466.27ft) above sea level (Newlyn datum).
I have included a map from 1910 showing the altitude at 1466.5ft (Liverpool datum). The datum changed from Liverpool to Newlyn in 1921.


 Distant view of Preston and the Round Loaf Barrow,

 Hordern Stoops.

 St Peter's Church Belmont.
I crossed to the road and followed it to the old stone gate posts where there is a marker for the Winter Hill Air Crash disaster of 1958. Under it is an O.S. benchmark shown on the map as being 1466.5ft. I didn’t visit the Trig Post and the descent from there to Hordern Stoops is horribly wet. Instead I took a route round the back of the masts and a direct path down the hillside to the car park above Ward’s Reservoir (Blue Lagoon).
Path along Spitlers Edge.

 Great Hill.
It was a steady descent though steep at first but nothing like as wet and last week's route. At the car park I walked up the road to Hordern Stoops and followed the Spitlers Edge path along the stone slabs. The weather continued fine and although some stones were just underwater I kept my feet dry. At Great Hill I didn’t stop but kept on to Drinkwater’s Ruins where I had a close look around the back for a possible camp pitch. I then checked out the spring below the track then continued to White Coppice, Heapey Lane and Town Lane home.

 View of Great Hill from above Drinkwater's ruins.
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