A Wander Through Lathkill Dale



A short walk along Lathkill Dale from Over Haddon

On the way back from visiting Haddon Hall, we decided to go for a walk. Seeing as Lathkill Dale was close by, we drove into Over Haddon and parked in the nearby car park.

From the car park there is a short, but steep, walk down to the dale. As we walked down the hill, we passed St Anne's church. This is in the gothic style and was built in 1880. In the churchyard is the grave of Sir Maurice Oldfield - a former head of the MI6. Sadly, and as usual, I didn't take photographs of the church. I seem to have an annoying habit of forgetting to take photographs of some places!

The bottom of the road, which ends at Lathkill Lodge, is the start of the section of our walk which is in the dale. There is a wooden sign nailed to a tree which informed us that, during Easter Thursday, there is a one penny charge for each person walking through this section of the dale. You see, unlike all the rest of the ones in this area, the footpath between the lodge and Calling Low Dale is not a public one. We wondered if the charge is ever enforced...


© Image courtesy of Alan Shenton
A few metres from the sign is another sign which tells you a little about the dale. I'd not taken my SLR with me this time, so took all of the photos with my phone. Sadly, despite having a decent camera on it, I couldn't get a good straight on photo of the sign, so here's one from an angle!

© Image courtesy of Alan Shenton
Lathkill Dale was once known for lead mining. In fact, mining operations were in place from the 13th century until 1851. The repeated flooding and dwindling amount of ore made the mine financially unviable. Many of the mine workings can be seen along the footpath.

© Image courtesy of Alan Shenton
© Image courtesy of Alan Shenton
Further along are the remains of Mandale Mine - which was arguably the most important mine in the area. Most of the remains are clearly visible, including the engine house.

© Image courtesy of Alan Shenton
© Image courtesy of Alan Shenton
© Image courtesy of Alan Shenton
Near to the engine house is a small tunnel. This will built to allow water from the aqueduct to pass through to the water wheel - which used to be situated in the engine house - while allowing workers to cross over it. One end has been rather lonely blocked off, though I don't know why.

© Image courtesy of Alan Shenton
© Image courtesy of Alan Shenton
Also nearby is the main entrance to the mine. This is now closed to visitors, but with a powerful torch it is possible to see inside.

© Image courtesy of Alan Shenton
© Image courtesy of Alan Shenton
 A short walk from the engine house is Bateman's House. Originally this was a shaft with a water powered engine, designed to pump the water out of the mine. The shaft was covered with a building which, in 1835, was converted into a dwelling for the mine agent. For some reason, I didn't take any photographs of this! It's easy enough to find with a quick search however.

We walked to the footbridge which is the start of a short uphill walk to Cales Dale, and decided to turn around. We'd not really seen anything of interest after the mine. On the walk back, we heard a pheasant calling, and we could see him once we got back to the edge of Palmerston Wood. He's almost in the exact centre of this photo.

© Image courtesy of Alan Shenton
Sadly, and as you'd expect, the zoom on my phone's camera is awful. Here is a zoomed in photo of him anyway!

© Image courtesy of Alan Shenton
Note to self: Remember to take your SLR when you go anywhere!

This ended up being just a very short walk - just under five miles in total. It's not really a particularly interesting or exciting walk, apart from the mines. Still, if you've never been before I'd still recommend going once!

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