Friday, 1 November 2013

Two Outings in One Day - Part One: Tandle Hill Park

PhotoWith the passing of Halloween, November welcomes us for another month of enjoyable walks and outings. On this first day of November I had the pleasure of enjoying two separate outings in the countryside. Both in some enjoyable company. Whilst neither of the walks were actually within Saddleworth, each of them took in some beautiful scenery.

I was awakened early this morning with the sun's rays shining through the part-drawn curtain's and a gentle, fresh breeze blowing through the open window. My son came into my room and, proclaiming what a beautiful, autumnal morning it was, and asked if we could take our dog for a walk in Tandle Hill Country Park, in Royton. Having already planned to meet a friend, for an outing in the South Pennine hills, at around 11.00am, we jumped in the car and set out for a pre-breakfast stroll.

Walking through the  110 acre, Beech woodland, we waded through a deep carpet of crisp, fallen leaves as the suns rays streamed through the thinning, golden canopy. My son found a rope-swing, fastened to the limb of a large tree, and enjoyed the thrill of swinging back and forth over a steep ravine. 

The name Tandle Hill is said to mean 'Fire Hill' and was used as a meeting place by radicals, in the 19th century. In the time leading up to the Peterloo massacre, which took place on 16th August 1819, at St.Peter's Field, Manchester, Tandle Hill is said to have been used by protestors for practicing marching and drilling formations. After the appalling incidents of that fateful day, the beech woodland was planted, to prevent the area being used by protestors again, and it became a private game reserve and hunting park, of the  Thornham Estate. In 1861 the park was sold to Joseph Milne, whose wife later sold it Norris Bradbury, who was a local councillor. In 1919, Councillor Bradbury gave the park to the people of Royton, as a peace offering to mark the end of the First World War.

PhotoMoving on, we climbed to the parks highest point, where a war memorial, unveiled by the Duke of Derby, in 1921, commemorates the men of Royton who laid down their lives in the First World War. This lofty position offers commanding views over Scout Moor Wind Farm and across to Winter Hill. The summits of these distant peaks were obscured by low cloud and we recognised that we were enjoying the last of the days clear weather as the moisture laden vessels crept closer.

Continuing around our woodland circuit, we made our way back to the car and returned home for breakfast.

Tomorrow I'll post a write up of the day's second outing, which took in the lower reaches of the South Pennine hills.


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