Saturday, 17 November 2018

Walking From Ponden to Lad Stone, Brontë Country

I haven't taken any photos recently that I would like to share, so it's time for a bit of catch up on what I had taken earlier this year. Back in September I went for a great walk the photos of which have been waiting to be given attention they deserve. I was on my annual visit to the wonderful Ponden Hall. I arrived lunch time and set off for my planned walk early afternoon. The weather was great for photography, especially for taking photos of the kind of landscape around Ponden and Stanbury moor. There were a lot of clouds in the sky, some white, some dark and a bit menacing, but thankfully it stayed dry; one moment the sun was out and the next it was screened with clouds creating a moody lighting, perfect for capturing the spirit of the bleak moorland. It was an easy four mile linear walk following just one well defined path, but although never very far from habitation it felt quite remote.

Ponden Reservoir - my starting point

A view towards Worth Valley from the track leading up to the moor.

Ponden Reservoir with Ponden Hall just visible on the left.

Upper Ponden - the isolated farm and lone tree are always a photogenic sight on the bleak moorland.

A view to Upper Ponden Farm and beyond from my steadily climbing path

Very soon my path began to feel very remote and lonely. In fact, I never met a single person on the entire walk and loved it so much..

Watersheddles Reservoir, which is in the next county, Lancashire

Remains of an old quarry with a stone post

The ruin of a quarrymans' hut was another interesting feature of the walk

Lad Stone, my destination. It lies on the brow, yards from where the path finishes, in the heather. "Lad" is a Yorkshire word for "boy" and the legend has it that a young lad perished in this windswept moorland spot which was the boundary of two adjoining parishes. As neither of the parishes wished to foot the bill for the lad's funeral, he was buried right there on the spot. However, "lad" is also a name for standing stone in the area which means the stone was likely to have been placed there merely to mark the boundary.

Lad Stone. I lingered here in this solitary spot under now a rather gloomy sky for a little while, just taking in the mood, and peace of the distant place and taking quite a few shots of the stone. As the track finished here I eventually retraced my steps and began to return as I came. 

I found Upper Ponden was now enveloped in a different light, rather dramatic and a touch ominous. From this point I varied my return and walked down the faint steep grassy path leading to the left from the spot I took this photo from.

I came to this beautiful house surrounded by gorgeous autumn rose-hips growing all along the fence.

Reaching the last wooden gate of the walk I was greeted by some moorland ramblers frequent friends. Past the gate I was supposed to continue straight on towards Ponden Hall, but I decided to make a little detour by turning left and walking down to the reservoir end. 

The upper end of Ponden Reservoir

What an enjoyable first time walk to Lad Stone this was. Great distance, great location, enough photographic interest and almost perfect weather conditions. As a photographer and nature lover I could hardly wish for anything better!