3 August 2015

Astwith

It was last Thursday afternoon when I set off for the tiny Derbyshire village of Astwith. I would be astonished if its population exceeded fifty but it has a postbox, a village noticeboard and a modern phone box that is so rarely used these days that ir is being reclaimed by Mother Nature in the form of creeping ivy. Here it is:-
Boots on and a few minutes out of Astwith there are cows resting in a meadow with the hollow ruins of Hardwick Hall on the ridge beyond Stainsby Plantation:-
Beyond the industrial estate on the edge of the village of Holmewood, I meet The Five Pits Trail. Once a railway track, it connects five villages that used to boast productive coal mines but they are long gone and with each passing year the evidence of their existence becomes more obscure.

By the trail I see sheep grazing near High House Farm:-
 After the village of Pilsley, I pause to compose this summery picture:-



































Then I am off again, plodding towards Tibshelf:-
Through Tibshelf, I leave the main road and head for Biggin Farm.  I see the ruin of another, smaller farm beyond a barbed wire fence and spiky hawthorn hedgerows but I can't get there so instead I take this photo of the rolling North-East Derbyshire countryside:-
Two miles further on and I am back at my car in litttle Astwith and it's seven o' clock in the evening. Time to head home. I had never been to Astwith before and it is likely that I shall never return. Close to the M1 motorway, thousands of motor vehicles flash by it every day but the drivers don't even know that Astwith is sleeping there as it has done for well over a thousand years.

15 comments:

  1. Another perfect company for my morning coffee, this post of yours, Neil. It sounds and looks very much like my kind of walk/hike.
    The picture of the overgrown phone box is of course special, but I think the second one is my favourite of this set. It could be a painting.
    Good weather, too - I hope it will be like that for most of the time in the 2nd half of this month!

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    1. Pray to your Maker Madam Ambassador and he will prepare the summery weather you desire. I see what you mean about the second picture - as if a pastoral scene by John Constable..

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  2. You choose some strange places to wander but it usually turns out well. A good set of peaceful photos.

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    1. It is amazing what you can find out there - even in the heart of The Peak District there many rarely trodden paths.

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  3. Good to see sports on the village field. Although the teams seem to be rather under-populated.

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    1. Well spotted Big Chief Eagle Eye! I walked by that field and the Tibshelf junior football squad was just about to begin a pre-season training session. There were maybe twenty five boys there and quite a few parents too. There was a nice buzz about it all.

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    2. mate, Tibshelf, or as we call it Tibby is certainly not an under-populated village. It used to be a town!

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  4. Beautiful photo's Yorkie. Such a beautiful walk. So different from here.

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    1. England's paths are mostly the offspring of history Leishy and we are lucky to have such a vast network of public rights of way.

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  5. By Crikey Mr. Pudding, you have presented us with some excellent photos in this post; especially the creepy ivy in the phone box, reaching across to pick up the receiver and call life in another universe maybe?
    The other photos are beautifully composed, the layering of cows, crops, copse and castle; the plant silhouette and depth of field and the miniature people walking on the road and larking around in the sports field.
    Enough of all this praise – you will be getting too big for your walking boots and that will put paid to glimpses into little-known parts of the kingdom of Sheffield and its surrounds.
    I intend to comment on yesterday’s post – well after the event, I know – but first I need to get my facts right….

    Ms Soup

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    1. "By Crikey!" - an expression that suggests you are residing in a time warp of the nineteen fifties Alphie. Thank you for really looking at my pictures. Much appreciated and please be assured that there is no chance of me getting too big for my boots. I am a humble prole.

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  6. Every single one of these beautiful photographs -- the Astwith series -- would make an excellent jigsaw puzzle! Please investigate the possibility as you might just have a lucrative second career in the midst of your retirement strolls.

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    1. You are so kind Bob and it pleases me that you enjoy my English strolls. By the way, when will the cookies arrive for EU approval and eating?

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  7. I love that phone booth! Superman is going to have to don his gardening gloves, grab some clippers and do a spot of trimming! He more things to do than just saving the universe...gardening is important!

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  8. Love the last photo.

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