1 December 2012


Sparrowpit? An unusual name for a village but I understand that it is a name derived from the now defunct  local fluorspar mining - spar row pit.  It sits in the High Peak overlooking Rushup Vale and seems to possess a different, harsher climate than the one we are used to in Sheffield. For example, yesterday I left my adopted city when it was bathed in bright November sunshine - the sky was blue and the grass was green - but by Sparrowpit the earth was clad in swirling mist, low-lying clouds and the fields were frosted white.

Fortunately, as I parked the car and squeezed into my walking boots, the thick mist in the high valley started to clear and pale images of faraway farms were revealed. But as I walked up to Rushup Edge and then down to Stonyford along an ancient packhorse track, tongues of  the grey-whiteness returned.

Along to Maglow Farm then down to Bagshaw and Blackbrook, huffing and puffing up the hill above Barmoor Clough to wide sheep pastures and then onwards towards Bolt Edge and Barmoor where at High Barmoor Farm I encountered a farmer who I would love to have photographed given his dress sense. Helpfully, he guided me through the farmyard from where the little used public footpath strikes out. His face was reddened and gnarled by sixty High Peak winters and if he had been modelling for an alternative men's fashion magazine you'd have seen a collarless grey striped shirt, a holey lime green V-necked sweater, a padded overshirt - two sizes two big - in Royal Stewart tartan, khaki trews with a baling string belt, wellington boots with turnover tops - coated in cow shit and on his unkempt mop of greying hair a black beanie hat at a jaunty angle. Eat your heart out Giorgio Armani!

And then over the fields past madly barking dogs - "They'll not hurt you love!". Oh yeah! And then passing the sad wreckage of a tumbledown farmhouse on the eastern side of Sparrowpit. A lovely three hour walk made more interesting by the flirtatious November mists.
"The Wanted Inn" at Sparrowpit
Sheep in the mist by Rushup Edge


  1. I used to drive through Sparrowpit en route to see our daughter in Sheffield and didn't get round to stopping off.

    I love the bath photo, and the sheep in the mist and the derelict farmhouse. In fact I like 'em all!

  2. LIBBY Thank you
    SHOOTING PARROTS Having viewed many of your excellent photographs, your praise is all the more precious. Thank you kind sir.

  3. Impressive photographs. I am not an experienced photographer, but I know what I like.

  4. Sounds like you could have blundered into any NZ high-country farm in the mist... sartorial elegance, bath drinking trough and all. Lovely.


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