Walk 11 - Bingley, St Ives Estate, Goitstock Wood, Hewenden Viaduct And CullingworthA pleasant, leisurely and varied walk, taking in hills, woodland and waterfalls, starting and finishing at Bingley town centre.
“The town's history dates from Saxon times although the first settlements in the area were started in the bronze age. It is referred to in the Domesday Book (1086) as 'Bingheleia' … meaning ‘Bing's clearing’ ... and was granted a Market Charter by King John in 1212 … Bingley is thought to have been founded around a ford on the River Aire. This crossing gave access to the villages of Harden, Cullingworth and Wilsden on the south side of the river” (Visitoruk.com, 2020).
Bingley still holds a regular market to this day. The market hall itself dates back to 1753. The town is also famous for the Five-Rise Locks on the Leeds Liverpool Canal.
Bingley Five-Rise Locks
Bingley is the birthplace of Timothy Taylor (yes, as in the brewer!) and Rodney Bewes, no less, of The Likely Lads fame!
1. Head right at the station, use the crossing and head down Main Street. You can see All Saints C of E Church ahead in the distance. You will soon see a brown sign pointing the way left to the St Ives Estate. Head in this direction, using the left-hand road crossing.
2. Head down Millgate Road, passing the Old White Horse pub on your right. Head straight on over Ireland Bridge (which incidentally dates back to the 17th century), crossing the River Aire. Just after you pass pass the Brown Cow pub on your left, cross the road and take a right at Ireland Terrace, then take your immediate left which is signposted “Altar Lane St Ives”.
3. Follow the footpath up and onto Altar Lane. Take a left and follow the lane uphill. Ignore the first couple of breaks in the left-hand wall which are gated off and padlocked. Eventually you will see a break in the wall with no gate. Pass through the gap here into an area of woodland. Follow the footpath as it curves right uphill, running parallel with the road behind the wall. The path will eventually wind uphill and left via a section of wooden stairs. Be careful of the mud here!
4. As you come to the top of the stair you will come to a crossroads with a bench. Take the left-hand route and head down. Take the next right-hand route where signposted. The path will split in two with the one route swerving left. Ignore this and keep to the route heading straight down in the direction of the plantation.
5. Pass through the wooden gate at the bottom of the path. Don’t go down onto the road though. Instead take your immediate right where where a path heads diagonally uphill. A bridleway signpost points the way here. At the top of the bridleway you will come to a T junction with a long border wall behind. Take the left-hand route where the signpost reads “Bridleway Mansion”.
6. Continue all the way down the path, passing through St Ives car park and North Barn on your right. At the T junction, go right and follow the road down. Watch out for cars passing through the estate here!
“The designed landscape [of the St Ives Estate] was developed between 1803 and 1837 by Walker Ferrand … Records show that he spent more than £30000 in building and ornamenting the estate. Estate plans of 1817 and 1819 record some of the early changes including the construction of a new mansion (Listed Grade II), whose name was changed in 1858 to St Ives” (Historicengland.org.uk, 2020).
Obelisk to William Ferrand
7. You will come to a point where you can either take a left leading out of the estate to the next leg of the walk or, for a short detour, you can take your next right and climb the steps up to the Coppice Pond. (If you choose the latter then join the path at the edge of the pond and go left. As you come to the end of the Coppice Pond, don’t take the immediate narrow right-hand path, go straight on through the gap in the wall, signposted “Altar View Walk”. Keep to the path as it curves right and climbs uphill. You will eventually see Lady Blantyre’s Rock on your left and, if you take the path just up behind this, you will also see an obelisk in memory of William Ferrand himself. After you’ve seen taken in these points of interest, backtrack and to the point aforementioned by the Coppice Pond and take the road leading down out of the estate). You will pass St Ives Lodge on your left and head between two ornamental pillars. Cross Keighley Road with care and take a left, heading down into Harden village.
Lady Blantyre's Rock is quite literally “an immense boulder in the western area of the park, where … [the lady herself] would sit and sketch … This is also the location of … [the] obelisk erected after Ferrand's own death and inscribed with his life's works and achievements” (Historicengland.org.uk, 2020).
8. Use the crossing at Long Lane and take a left. Go right at the mini roundabout and head down Wilsden Road. You will pass Harden Hall on your right, but no photos, this is a private residence! Take your next right just before the bridge and The Malt pub, where multiple signs point the way to Harden and Bingley Caravan Park, as well as Goitstock Wood.
As a point of interest, should you have time for a brief detour, if you cross the aforementioned bridge, there is a route leading right and uphill into Ruin Bank Wood. After a short distance you will discover Harden Grange Folly (or St David’s Ruin), which is grade II listed and bears the initials of Benjamin Ferrand.
Harden Grange Folly (St David’s Ruin)
9. Eventually you will pass Harden Bridge Mill across the water on your left and also Harden Weir. Take your next left left here where there is a route through the grass into brief section of woodland. This briefly takes you away from the road on a more scenic route. As you eventually rejoin the road, continue all the way down to the caravan park entrance. Follow the path through the grounds here, which leads to Goitstock Wood.
For another brief detour, should you have the time (and the desire) to take it, just before you leave the caravan park exit there is a sharp right past a trimmed hedge called the Senior Way. Follow this route as it crosses a wooden footbridge over a small waterway. Turn left at the road, followed by a sharp right where a sign indicates the way. Follow the path uphill, then take the next sharp left which leads back and through a gate. You will then come to the last remnant of Goitstock Mill, i.e. a small chimney stack.
“This mill did not have a mill chimney in the conventional sense but in a field high above the valley floor there still stands a solitary strange structure. This is the mill chimney, connected to the boiler fire far below by a stone-lined flue, small parts of which can still be seen in the field” (Hub et al., 2020).
The caravan park is built on the former site of the mill and few other traces remain of it. In bygone years a pleasure resort had also operated on the site of the former mill, but perished famously in what was known as the Happy Valley Fire Disaster of 1927.
10. As you leave the caravan park you will join a woodland footpath signposted the “Millennium Way”, leading to Goitstock Wood.
This is an area of picturesque waterfalls! At the end of the footpath is Goitstock Waterfall itself, which is particularly sublime and, I daresay, puts Niagara Falls to shame! Historically this beauty spot was used as a picnic area by the Ferrands, up until the woods and mill area were sold in 1919. Incidentally, the waterfall is a cataract type, or “a waterfall with larger, more powerful volumes of water ... typically accompanied by rapids” (Geocaching.com, 2020).
11. Take the metal stairway to the left of the waterfall. As you reach the top of the stairway, take the route down to a T junction, behind which is private garden belonging to the third mill of the area (Hallas Mill). Take the left route, leading up to the houses and Hallas Bridge road.
12. Keep to the road as it swerves right and then left uphill, passing Bents House on your right. At the T junction at the top of the hill, turn right where a signpost reads “Calder Aire Link”. From this high point you will begin to see Hewenden Viaduct emerging in the valley to your right.
13. Keep to the road – and a very long road it is too! Eventually, as you come to the end of Bents Lane, take your next left, merging onto Lane Side road. Cross the road with care and take your next right, just before the Station Hotel, leading down Station Road. Here a blue signpost reads “To The Great Northern Trail”. Ignore the first public footpath sign on your right. Continue straight on where Station Road terminates at a cul-de-sac, taking the path signposted “To The Great Northern Trail”. This will eventually lead you over Hewenden Viaduct, overlooking Hewenden Reservoir on your left.
“Constructed by Benton & Woodiwiss, the … viaduct extends for 376 yards, rising 123 feet over Hewenden Beck and curving to the west on a radius of 30 chains … [I]t comprises 17 brick arches in groups of six, five and six, separated by king piers with projecting pilasters … The through route proved of great strategic importance, creating a direct link between the major textile towns in the Pennine foothills whilst bypassing the congested lines around Leeds and Bradford. It opened for goods traffic on 1st April 1884 … Known affectionately as the Alpine Route as a result of its heavy engineering, the line was officially severed on 11th November 1963 when the section between Thornton and Cullingworth was closed. This brought redundancy to Hewenden Viaduct. However the structure was granted a protective Grade II listing in October 1985 and Sustrans subsequently negotiated a lease of its deck from British Railways Board (Residuary), allowing the first phase of the Great Northern Railway Trail to be laid over it in 2005” (Forgottenrelics.co.uk, 2020).
14. Follow the Great Northern Trail all the way across the viaduct and straight on past the next crossroads. The path will eventually terminate at the former site of Cullingworth railway station, now a school, although the railway sign still remains on the grounds. Follow the road downhill and take a left at Halifax Road.
If you take your next right at Greenside Lane then Spoons Tearoom here is well worth a visit!
15. Continue down Halifax Road. Then, as you pass The George Hotel, go left down Keighley Road.
16. As Keighley Road starts to climb, you will see the hills and quarries of Catstones Moor on your right. Ignore the first footpath right, but take the second, just before Lower House Farm. The path leads you up onto the hills.
17. After the treeline terminates on your left, take the left where the path splits and heads up to the quarries. The route will lead you onto moorland and a former settlement known as the Catstones Ring.
This is just an area of scrubland really, and there is no actual stone circle, sadly. Though, for the sake of confusion, a stone circle does exist on nearby Harden Moor to the north-east.
18. As you leave Catstones Hill and come to Ryecroft road, pass straight onto Harden Moor via a metal gate. Continue in a north-easterly direction, using the mast ahead as a makeshift compass point. (Just keep it to your left at all times!) As the path weaves through the former quarries, you will eventually come to an old Roman road, which leads you off the moor via a metal gate.
“Harden Moor was enclosed in 1855. There is a long-standing tradition that Harden Moor was the site of a Civil War battle and that graves are present” (Historicengland.org.uk, 2020).
19. Go straight on at the next crossroads, then take your next right into a field. Follow the footpath diagonally left. Climb the next stile and resume the path, which now begins to slope downhill. Keep to the path as it curves right, ignoring the left-hand route which falls away and leads downhill. Continue straight on and the path will eventually bring you to Keighley Road. At the crossroads here, go straight on down Altar Lane.
Historically Altar Lane has acted as the unofficial border between the St Ives Estate and Harden Moor. Sure enough, over the boundary wall and in the distance to the right you will see the periphery of the St Ives Estate again.
20. Where the path splits, ignore the left-hand signposted route and take a right where the path splits.
Sadly this spot has suffered from fly-tipping in the past, but has subsequently been cleared. Damn those flies, why do they do it?
21. Follow the long track downhill. Ignore the left-hand route at the end, which helpfully reads “No Through Road”, but take the next left-hand route through the woods, leading to Druid’s Altar.
Presumably “Altar Lane” is named after this particular rock. Druid’s Altar was also the inspiration for the scene of a chartist rally in Benjamin Disraeli's novel Sybil. There is a good view of Bingley from the summit, but steer clear between the hours of 19:00 and 20:00 when Druidic rituals are in progress!
22. After you’ve seen the rock, backtrack to the main road, take a left and head downhill back to Bingley town.
1. Anon, (2020). [image] Available at: https://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/tahistory/15187839.looking-at-bingley-life-in-times-past/#gallery2 [Accessed 7 Mar. 2020].
2. Forgottenrelics.co.uk. (2020). Hewenden Viaduct. [online] Available at: http://www.forgottenrelics.co.uk/bridges/gallery/hewenden.html [Accessed 7 Mar. 2020].
3. Geocaching.com. (2020). Goit Stock Falls. [online] Available at: https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC1XFHP_goit-stock-falls?guid=d70191a7-8e33-4d09-ab27-86cf7ad7655b [Accessed 7 Mar. 2020].
4. Historicengland.org.uk. (2020). St Ives Estate, Bradford - 1001707 | Historic England. [online] Available at: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1001707 [Accessed 7 Mar. 2020].
5. https://hardenvillagecouncil.gov.uk/war-history/photographs-then-now/ (2020). [image].
6. Hub, B., Devine-Harrup, K., Hub, B., Hub, B., Hub, B., Devine-Harrup, K. and Hub, B. (2020). Mills of the Hewenden Valley (Hewenden Mill) - part 3 - Bingley Hub. [online] Bingley Hub. Available at: http://mycommunityhub.co.uk/mills-of-the-hewenden-valley-hewenden-mill-part-3/ [Accessed 7 Mar. 2020].
7. Visitoruk.com. (2020). Welcome to Bingley. [online] Available at: http://www.visitoruk.com/Bingley/ [Accessed 7 Mar. 2020].