It’s been a lazy(ish) day today. We’ve not been far, well, by our definition anyway! After a fairly lazy morning at home catching up on chores and bits we decided to walk across the valley up to Norland Moor and the fabulous Moorcock Inn.
After leaving home we walked down through Scarr Woods to the valley floor and along the Salter & Hebble Navigation (otherwise known as the canal) as far as Copley, a small place that’s sandwiched between the canal and the River Calder.
There’s only one road in and out and for a couple of years the place was even more isolated as the old stone bridge that crossed the Calder was destroyed in the Boxing day floods of 2015. In 2017 this was replaced by a modern steel structure that once again allows pedestrian access to the Norland side of the valley and an area of dense woodland known as North Dean Wood. It’s a interesting little place. An old Toll house still stands by the bridge, opposite the disused St Stephen’s Church which is a designated Grade II* listed building, under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.
The church was open when we passed, so we had a nosey inside. It’s a huge, rather gloomy place that must have been murder to heat and light in its day!
What was interesting about the church was that it contained nuggets of local history and an explanation of how Copley village came into existence. What I learned was that it was one of the earliest model villages, set up before the much more famous Saltaire. He’s a local website that explains – and saves me having to!
Heading on from the church we walked up through the woods to reach the top of the escarpment and Greetland Moor. The leaves are just beginning to turn but have yet to produce the rich panoply of colours we can expect to see in a few weeks time. What we did see was a wide variety of mushrooms. I’m no mycologist, so I don’t really know what I’m looking at, but here’s some examples.
As you cut through the trees towards the top of the escarpment there’s some wonderful views back across the Calder valley towards Halifax, where the magnificent 23 arch, Grade 2 listed Copley viaduct is exposed to view. Built for the Lancashire and Yorkshire railway in 1850 it spans the River Calder, the canal and the A6026 Wakefield Rd.
Once up on the moors we walked from Greetland to Norland and on to the Moorcock Inn for a well deserved pint and also – one of their home made pork pies – which are excellent. Succulent and packed with meat, they’re not cheap, but as a treat, they’re well worth trying.
The bar menu changes on a daily basis and always contains something different and delicious