Walk Diary Wednesday 6 December 2017 Weather, 9°C. Breezy.
Carsington Sheep Wash CP . Depart 10 a.m. 6 ½ miles Leader: Jane H.
No. on walk 24
A delightful little walk from the Sheep wash car park at Carsington Reservoir to Brassington village and return route almost parallel to the outward leg. Quite strong winds on the tops, but as we neared the turn at Brassington it seemed become a little better and brightened up somewhat.
After paying our dues to Severn Trent, we left the car park and made our way north around the edge of the conservation area to cross the Wirksworth Road, walking on up to pass by Wash Farm and so into Carsington village. We passed by the green outside St. Margaret’s Church, turning into Mining Lane and then to climb steeply up to kings Chair at the side of Carsington Meadows. This must be one of the steepest climbs around here, climbing up the bank behind the houses, three hundred and eighty feet in less than a quarter of a mile, I make that about a one in four climb, I think we were all thankful for the cooling breeze at this stage.
After passing the Kings Chair, a Limestone rocky outcrop that resembles a throne, we moved over the ‘Pastures’ towards the giant wind turbines, their blades turning powerfully in the stiff breeze, emitting a swishing sound, not unlike the roar of a blow torch at full heat. We crossed over Manystones Lane to walk the High Peak Trail to Harboro’ Rocks, where we stopped for our morning break, taking shelter near to some disused buildings beside the works complex there.
With the break over we recrossed the Trail and Manystones to walk down to the picnic area and on into Brassington Street. We headed down into the village and took the first path on the left to begin our return leg of our journey. Another climb, but not so steep this time as we made our way up to follow along the southern edge of Carsington Pastures. Did you know that Carsington Pastures, is claimed to be the largest pasture on the country. Anyway along its edge and overlooking the reservoir to the south east we stopped for our lunch break, still breezy up here, but the place is pock marked by ancient lead mining workings, without the grass it would probably look like a lunar landscape and looking at the OS map it does. It was in these dug out hollows that we sheltered, in our twos and threes to eat, whilst doing so the sun deigned to put in appearance for a very brief minute or so.
With lunch over we made our way back down to Carsington village, this time passing by the church, walking the road into Hopton. At the road junction, outside the hall we stopped to examine, no investigate a curious, man made stone mound, it turned out to be an old disused Ice House. Further along the street in Hopton we again paused to look at the old Almshouses, four in all and the inscription on a stone plaque is just readable; “This hospital was begun in 1719 by Sir Philip Gell, Baronet, in his life time and by him endowed for the use of two poor men and two poor women of Hopton and Carson. Finished by his executors and inhabited Sept 1722”.
We recrossed the Wirksworth Road to walk the excellent track at the northern end of the reservoir for three quarters of a mile, before taking the path back to the car park, where seasons greetings were proffered by those, going off on their holiday breaks. No doubt this will be a familiar seen over the next several walks.