Saddleworth – Standedge, My Peace Spot
I am born and bred in Oldham/Saddleworth so although I have moved around a lot in my life I have a deep connection with this hilly part of the world. My first hills, my first game of cricket and childhood memories in nature on foot. Of course over the past few years since living back in the area I have rekindled the total love of the place and I showed you some of my local Saddleworth sights here last year.
However, the hounds and I have had one special walk/climb. Tis one that has been right out the front door whenever we wished. Our place to escape on a whim. Standedge. A top point on the Pennine Way, I have been blessed to have this point within a mile or two of home and have thus taken myself up there so many times, morning noon or night In fact I can bet that I have sent twitpics in their hundreds from this area.
It has no big peaky summit, it has no big fanfare, but I find it special. Peace and quiet. Windy or snowy and occasionally sunny . Look West and you can see all through Saddleworth, and the hills lowering towards Manchester. Look East and its Yorkshire and Kirklees. A historical boundary.
It has been crossed for centuries. The Roman road from York to Chester passed over here with Roman forts like Castleshaw sitting at the foot of Standedge. But under your feet is another marvel. The Standedge tunnels. The canal tunnel is highest, longest and deepest canal tunnel in the UK, stretching for 5,029 metres (3.25 miles) through hard millstone grit. In 1794 you can imagine this was no easy task to make. The canal has reopened recently and you can think back in history how they used to ‘walk’ the boats through (feet on the ceiling) whilst the packhorses were taken over on foot via Standedge. The Manchester – Huddersfield train also runs through the hill here to get through the Pennines.
So, as I move on the exciting pastures new I thought it would be nice to share some scrapbook pics of my daily local wander. I have family here so of course on trips back I won’t resist a walk up and sit in wonderous peace