Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Winter Hill – 17 April

Thursday evening in Winter Hill’s golden sunshine was still cool in complete contrast with Saturday morning when it could almost have been mid-summer. A fresh breeze, omnipresent on Thursday, continued to sweep over the exposed upper edges reminding everyone that summer isn’t here just yet. I wanted a long run, a long run with a bit of tarmac and while Winter Hill is so dry and hard it could almost count as road I wanted the real thing. So a bit of the “black stuff” at the beginning passing Curly’s Fishery and the same again at the end.

Winter Hill - 001 Curly’s Fishery looking almost due north with the mast on the skyline

 

Winter Hill - 002Curly’s Fishery looking east

The moors are exceptionally dry and the first fires of the year have started already which especially bad news for ground nesting birds. There seems to have been almost no growth and very little green to be seen above the drained fields.

Winter Hill - 003 North east over Belmont in the direction of Darwen

 

Winter Hill - 004 Over Spitler’s Edge looking north – with very good eyes you might be able to see 3 runners on the dark path in the centre of the picture, after double-clicking to enlarge.

The lead runner is in a dark vest and the most difficult to see, the middle runner in yellow isn’t too difficult and behind him (Ed) the third runner in blue can be seen. Unlike previously, I hadn’t recognised Pauline’s stud marks but I did think the blue vest was familiar and Pauline, it is.

 

Winter Hill - 006 The Dovecote Tower

The Dovecote Tower, commonly known as the Pigeon Tower, stands at the north western edge of the Terraced Gardens. Italian in style, and built in 1910 by Lord Leverhulme as part of his extensive Rivington estate. In 1886 Leverhulme established a soap manufacturing company called Lever Brothers (now part of Unilever) and he lived in the Rivington area of Bolton for many years. In 1913, his house there was destroyed by a suffragette — ironically, as he was in favour women's suffrage. He had a large mansion created to replace this original home, and turned a large portion of the grounds over to the town of Bolton as a public park, including a small zoo stocked with emu, yaks, zebra, wallabies and a lion cub. His own Japanese-style garden, based on the design of the willow-patterned plate, included a lake complete with its own flock of flamingos The Pigeon Tower originally had three stories, with the top room being Lady Lever's sewing room and the lower two levels housing ornamental doves and pigeons. The three floors are linked by a solid stone staircase that runs up the semi-circular spine of the building. On rare occasions when the metal barricaded door allows access, one can still see in the top room the ornate fireplace engraved with the initials of William Heskth and Elizabeth Ellen Lever running in a circular wheel above the family motto, MUTARE VEL TIMERE SPERNO - "To change or to fear I spurn". Whilst structurally sound following renovation work in Spring 2006, the property has not been inhabited for many years

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