|"The Spencer Arms" in Cawthorne|
On Sunday, I parked in the village of Cawthorne. It's one of Barnsley's best kept secrets - a lovely, well-heeled village with many stone cottages, surrounded by rolling countryside and woodland. It has everything a proper village needs - a church, a school, a pub, a shop, bus stops, a village hall, a cricket ground and a strong sense of community.
I walked down to Tanyard Brook where a ford and a footbridge lead you on past the cricket ground to Cannon Hall which was once a modest stately home set in parkland. Nowadays it is a popular leisure venue for Barnsley families. The old hall houses a thriving museum and the associated farm with its domestic animals is much loved by children.
Onwards, following two horse riders down a leafy lane and when we emerged into the sunlight there was Tower Cottage peeping over the brow of a hill. And then into a plantation called Deffer Wood. My excuse for getting rather lost in this wood was that the tracks and paths shown on my map had been supplemented by other "unofficial" routes. I was in there for more than half an hour having become rather disoriented.
|Tower Cottage near Cannon Hall|
On to Jowett House Farm passing a listed dovecot and then over the lane passing the "maze of maize" - a local summertime attraction. Through more woods, I found myself in a large pasture containing about eighty Friesian cows. When they spotted me, they began to rise and moo, perhaps imagining that I was the new farmhand ready to lead them home for milking.
I won't bother to explain why, but a few minutes later I was back in that same field where the herd were now gathered like excited theatre goers at the gate. There was no way they were letting me through. Co-incidentally, just then I heard the motorbike sound of a farm utility vehicle and I guessed correctly that the real farmer was coming along to lead his girls to the milking barn. They were all out of that field and plodding farmwards in less time than it takes a Scotsman to brush his sporran.
|Milepost at Clough Green|
Over Cascade Bridge and on to the hamlet of Clough Green where I snapped the iron milepost you can see above and then on to the rather grand Banks Hall - an eighteenth century country house largely hidden by vegetation and substantial stone walls. A long avenue of lime trees led me back to Tivydale and Cawthorne.
It was good to be out walking again without Biscuit the dog. No stops for detailed environmental sniffing or leg cocking. Unusually on this walk I managed to lose my way three times, but hey, this wasn't the Canadian backwoods or the Australian bush - survival was always assured.
|Horse riders in Deffer Wood|