Tag Archives: little mearley hall

A countryside walk with some old haunts.

On saturday we decided to leave the car at home and set off on a walk around the places where I grew up. Before I moved to the great Metropolis that is Clitheroe, I lived in the shadow of Pendle Hill on a hill farm called Little Mearley. Nope I never did move to far away…or make my fortune! Not to worry. 😉

Our walk took in a few country lanes, a bridle path/farm track and some farm land. I think we walked about 8 miles or so, so not too shabby. I imagine Hugo our labrador covered even more milage, as he definitely runs circles around me….

We started off by walking through the fields toward Standen Hall and then crossed the busy A59 and headed for the pretty village of Pendleton.

downham etc 004
The Swan with Two Necks in Pendleton is a popular Real Ale pub.

The folks of Pendleton have decorative Imaginations! I’m not sure about the Egg Wreath ,but I do like the Flower Pot Bees. 🙂

downham etc 011

We walked through Pendleton and crossed the Sabden Road , then ambled along a bridle path through the tiny hamlet of Mearley. This eventually turns into a farm track and passes the farm where I grew up.

downham etc 013
Little Mearley Hall.

It felt strange walking past the old place. Little Mearley dates back to 1590. My bedroom growing up, was the mullioned bay window room. The glass has names of past residents etched into it. I might have shared my ivory tower with their ghosts , but I was happily oblivious! Pendle Hill with it’s legendary associations with witchcraft fades into the mist behind.

downham etc 014
Wil ended up detangling this Tup. He had got his impressive horns stuck in the barbed wire.

We then cut through some fields and passed Angram Green Farm & Campsite and walked into the beautiful village of Downham, where my sister and I went to primary school. I didn’t take many photos here, but If you would like to see more, here is a post I did a while back called Downham delights. 🙂

downham etc 019
Quiet country lane to Downham.

We had lunch in Downham , sat outside a former collegues cute little ice cream shop, that also sells brews, sandwiches, baked goodies and other bits and pieces.

We decided to look for an alternative route back , which would take us through fields ,so Hugo could have a lot more off lead time. There is a footpath just over the road from the Ice cream shop that took us through some meadows and past the bottom of Worsaw Hill.

downham etc 028
Worsaw Hill.

Even for a non- hill climber like me, Worsaw Hill, which reminds me of a mini volcano, looked far too tempting not to climb. At 725ft it’s tiny compared to Pendle, but offers gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside.

downham etc 031
Kind of breezy up here!
downham etc 040
Green pastures and Pendle Hill.
downham etc 041
Surveying my kingdom. 🙂

After scrambling down the hill ,we continue through fields toward the village of Worston. As a teenager I was a saturday girl at the local pub ,The Calf’s Head. On the way we pass a farm with a movie connection!

downham etc 046
Worsaw End Farm.

Have you ever watched the 1961 film Whistle Down The Wind ? It tells the tale of three farm children who discover a fugitive hiding in their barn, and mistake him for , well, Jesus! Worsaw End Farm is the farm. Local children from Downham and nearby Chatburn starred alongside such acting luminaries as Hayley Mills and Alan Bates.

downham etc 048
A pint of Worston Witch for Wil at The Calf’s Head.

Once in Worston we take refreshment in the Calf’s Head Beer garden before crossing back over the A59 and heading home.

downham etc 049
Heading home , with Pendle Hill in the background.

Thanks for accompanying me on a bit of a journey through my past….

ps It’s Hugo’s 3rd Birthday today. Time is certainly flying by. He will be celebrating later with a bottle of doggy beer from Millie & Ruby’s Dog Bakery. 🙂

Farewell the family farm.

A poignant few days as my Uncle is retiring and leaving the family farm. My cousins and siblings and I all grew up at Little Mearley which lies at the foot of Pendle Hill. We did not own the farm but our Grandfather took it on in 1948 as a three generation tenancy. He and then my Dad and Uncle farmed there keeping hundreds of sheep and a dairy herd. No one from my generation though has been willing to carry on in the business so with sad hearts my Uncle and Aunt held a big sale this weekend , selling off farm machinery etc ( most of the animals having been sold on to the future tenant ) and many of us have been up there to visit and say our final goodbyes.

The farm house from the back.
The farm house from the back.

Its years ago since I left Little Mearley but it was always there for any of us to visit whenever we wanted. I hope the new tenant loves it as we did. Farming is a hard and often thankless life. I admire anyone who can make a living from it.

The top bay window was my childhood bedroom. Like a princess in a tower. :)
The top bay window was my childhood bedroom. Like a princess in a tower. 🙂

The house was actually built in 1590 so as you can imagine it was very atmospheric growing up there. No central heating when I was a kid, just coal fires, so grew up not afraid of the cold. Now of course i’m a big softie and turn up the fire and on the heating in my little terrace house, at any opportunity.Tut Tut.

Happily this tractor is staying in the family! My brother bought it at the sale and here is our young nephew testing it out. ( Photo ~Yvonne Allison)
Happily this tractor is staying in the family! My brother bought it at the sale and here is our young nephew testing it out. ( Photo ~Yvonne Allison)

I have many happy memories of life at Little Mearley. Helping out at silo time, the cows coming up for milking~ tails swishing in the sun, sledging in the snow, hiding kittens from Granddad, endless games of cricket, riding our bikes along the farm track and herding sheep up Pendle, to name but a few.

Muddy fields and Pendle Hill ( photo~ Ian Neilson)
Muddy fields and Pendle Hill ( photo~ Ian Neilson)

So farewell Little Mearley. May farming continue there for many years to come. 🙂

Little Mearley Hall.
Little Mearley Hall.