3 April 2015

Thursday

These boots are made for walking.
Thursday was a lovely spring day - sandwiched between two mean and miserable days of drizzle and early April greyness. My friend Jon - currently teaching in Taiwan - was due at 3pm with his little daughter - Alexa. Consequently, I couldn't go very far for my constitutional walk. 

I parked up at Totley and set off to Gillfield Wood which has been a working woodland for many centuries. It is right on the border between Yorkshire and Derbyshire so of course I made sure I had my Yorkshire passport on me. 
Totley Brook in Gillfield Wood
Through the woods and up to Woodthorpe Hall then along Fanshawe Gate Lane to Storth House. Down the hill from Storth House by the nascent Totley Brook - bubbling down a meadow then back into the woods. I had to make my own stepping stones to cross the swollen brook  before taking a woodland path that emerges from the woods within sight of Totley Hall - built in 1623.

It was another day when it felt very good to be alive. When Jon arrived we had tea and pastries on the decking before we all went up to "The Wheatsheaf" for the early evening carvery. By this time Princess Alexa was soundly asleep.
Fanshawe Gate House

The infant Totley Brook moving down the hill
Totley Hall (1623)

14 comments:

  1. Fanshawe Gate House looks much more like someone's home than Totley Hall, doesn't it?
    The walk you describe, with early spring woodland, a brooke to follow, small birdges to cross etc. sounds exactly like my kind of walk. And I wouldn't say no to tea (or maybe coffee) and pastries afterwards, either!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the walk Miss A! ...Hey! Leave the maple and pecan pastry! That one's for me! You can have the cream puff.

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  2. I was born in Totley but remember nothing of either my birth or the place.

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    1. To the right of Totley Hall a teacher training college was developed but its tower block was demolished about ten years ago. I have done that same walk a few times and it is a delight. By the way there's a blue plaque in the village that says "Lord Adrian of Totley - notable macro photographer and dog trainer was born here on April 1st 1935"

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  3. What's a 'working woods' YP?

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  4. Sorry, 'working woodland' ?

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    1. Hello Kate. A wood that was kind of farmed and controlled through coppicing for example - producing fencing and basketry. Also a wood where charcoal and whitecoal were produced for use in cottage industries - including lead smelting. It was not just a wood for country rambles and dog walking.

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    2. Ah, thank you. I only thought of its use for firewood.

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  5. I like your Totley Brook picture. Spring must be pretty in your area. I miss going to England – I used to go often while growing up in France – but now it’s a bit far away.

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    1. Yes Vagabonde, Spring can be pretty round here but this past week the weather has been rather mixed and springtime never inspires when the weather is grey and miserable.

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  6. I learn so much from you, Mr. Pudding. Had to look up white coal and see what it was and what it was used for. Are those huge windows on Totley Hall original? If so, it must have been very unusual to have such a large open front on a house at that time. Lovely wood, Mr. Pudding. I will go walking with you there anytime. Happy Easter!

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    1. In 1623 having big windows was a sure sign of great wealth. Glass manufacturing was a difficult and costly process. Though the glass in those windows may not be original the stone apertures are.... We shall skip through the wood together and over the stream and maybe enjoy a picnic up by Fanshawe Gate Lane. There'll be sausage rolls, a pork pie, pickled onions and a flagon of cold cider. (Don't tell Big Bear!)

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  7. I feel like I'm roaming in the gloaming! :)

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    1. Roamin' in the gloamin' on the bonny banks o' Clyde
      Roamin' in the gloamin' with my lassie by my side
      When the sun has gone to rest
      That's the time we love the best
      Ach, it's lovely roamin' in the gloamin'

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