New Quarry Walk Preserves Industrial Past

by Catherine Smyth Media

A NEW walking route has been introduced at Cragg Quarry above Waterfoot to ensure the site’s important role in Rossendale’s industrial past is preserved.

It was the largest quarry in Rossendale with Haslingden Flag stones being excavated for use all over the country – including in Trafalgar Square in London.

Chair of the Friends of Valley of Stone, FOVOS, Liz Hinchliffe said: “The volunteers have carried out a year-long project to create a walking route around the quarry that has way markers with numbers that correspond to an information leaflet.

“We have also installed two large information boards that tell the history of the quarry and these have QR codes so anyone who doesn’t have a leaflet can access it by scanning the code.”

When a circular mountain bike trail was introduced to the quarry a couple of years ago, FOVOS saw how successful it was and decided to introduce the new walking path.

A grant of £17,000 was secured from Lancashire Environmental Fund along with £4,000 from Newground to pay for way markers, information boards, leaflets and a restoration project.

Liz said: “We held a number of guided walks around the site and this helped us plan where the paths should be, so walkers and mountain bikers didn’t clash, and we also gained new members for FOVOS.

“We had a working party to restore one of the quarryman’s huts and Alan Rhodes, a master dry stone waller from Whitworth, trained the 15 volunteers to work on the building.

“We are hoping that Cragg Quarry will be as successful as the walking and mountain bike trails around Lee Quarry, above Bacup.”

Trail leaflets are available from libraries, sports centres, from FOVOS members and from the Valley of Stone website

To access the quarry walkers can leave from Waterfoot and go through Cowpe and follow the Pennine Bridleway or walk from Lee Quarry.

The walk offers stunning views over the Rossendale countryside from Bacup to Waterfoot, Haslingden to Ramsbottom.

Valley of Stone was a Heritage Lottery-funded project started in 2007 to celebrate the unique quarrying heritage of Rossendale. In 2011 FOVOS was set up to continue the work.

At the annual general meeting in October members will decide on a project for the coming year.

Guided walks are held in summer and winter and a schedule of walks, ranging from five to eight miles, is available on the Valley of Stone website.

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