Sunday, 14 November 2010

Darwen Tower – 13 Nov

While we were running over Winter Hill on Thursday night in near gale force winds the worst of the weather was saving itself for nearby Darwen Moor. There, high over the town of Darwen on Beacon Hill, stands a Victorian Tower open in 1898 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee and also to celebrate the victory of the local people for the right to access the moor. It was opened to the public on 22 September 1898.

Darwen Tower-100Darwen Tower – June 2009

According to the Lancashire Telegraph the wind was gusting to over 80 mph and one of the gusts removed the top of the tower. This seemed like a perfect excuse for a long run on Saturday over Winter Hill to Darwen and back over Great Hill.

Darwen Tower-001Pool in Chinese Gardens, Rivington

Water should, perhaps, have been the theme for the day because so much rain had fallen in recent days that the ground is saturated – saturated where it isn’t simply flooded.

Darwen Tower-002Looking down to Horwich with an impromptu stream on the right

Beyond Winter Hill the weather started to look a bit more threatening but before a fierce shower of hail stones produced huge rainbows.

Darwen Tower-003Rainbow

Darwen Tower-004Double Rainbow

Darwen Tower-005Looking over Blackburn from the top of Darwen Tower

Darwen Tower-200Darwen Tower – November 2010

Crossing Great Hill reveals the extensive moorland leading to a panorama of the Lancashire Plain, north Wales and the mountains of Snowdonia but yesterday wasn’t quite clear enough to see that far.

Darwen Tower-006

Further down the track, originally a mule track leads to the village of White Coppice with its idyllically located cricket ground and the white painted cottages overlooking it.


Darwen Tower-007 White Coppice Cricket Club

Darwen Tower-008Dean Black Brook at White Coppice

Darwen Tower-009Cascade from Yarrow Reservoir (which is almost always dry)

Yarrow Reservoir Cascades

Just shows how much I have to learn about shooting movies!

Finally, by way of an experiment, a Google Earth version of the route is attached below.

Darwen Tower Route download


  1. We have a Jubilee Tower too, on Castle Hill overlooking Huddersfield, that was completed in 1899 to commemorate 60 years of Queen Victoria's reign. It's only a mile from where I live and a lot of my 'altitude' training is done around its base along the 900ft contour.

  2. Great shots - you got me thinking of doing some random runs to some towers and ruins around the west coast of Ireland...