Although the literary Bronte family lived in Haworth in Yorkshire, it was not uncommon for the siblings to walk over the Pennine moors to the secluded hamlet of Wycoller
in Lancashire. As Sunday promised some rare dry weather ,we headed to the village of Trawden for a Circular Walk that takes in some of the rugged Pendle countryside that may have inspired their writings.
The walk starts from the Trawden Arms in the village,so we found some roadside parking nearby. We then made our way up some old tram tracks to the right of the pub, crossed a main road and then followed a route through many boggy fields, moorland and woodland. It was very wet under foot, but there was lots to see. We passed several farms and smallholdings around Trawden, home to various pets and livestock.
We followed Trawden Brook up to Lumb Spout , once a popular Victorian beauty spot.
The route then follows the Pennine National Bridleway Trail over moorland for a way. I saw a couple of stonechat but didn’t manage to get a photo. The skies were big and the ground was sodden.
Eventually we found outselves off the rugged moors and entering the serene Wycoller Country Park with its greenery, woodland, winding brook and stone bridges.
Wycoller is a former handloom weaving settlement, the villagers took their cloth to the drying ground above Wycoller Hall. Folk moved away to find jobs after the introduction of the powerloom in Lancashire’s industrial towns.
The Bronte sisters visited Wycoller and it is said that in Charlotte’s novel Jane Eyre , the hall was her inspiration for Ferndean Manor where Mr Rochester lived.
We ate our sandwiches here and set off to continue our walk back to Trawden, totally forgetting to go and see The Atom Panopticon sculpture which is a short stroll away. Oh well, a reason to return!
All in all this walk was about six miles long, though at quite a slow pace because of all the mud. Unlike the Bronte sisters we didn’t need to wander the soggy terrain in long gowns and petticoats! I wonder if any of the siblings ever did catch a glimpse of Pendle Hill ? It would be nice to think so….