Sometimes I comment on your blogs after you have visited me, however the comment you get from me may not be from the site you visited. That’s because I have more than one blog.
So here is a list of my other ones. 😘
Sometimes I comment on your blogs after you have visited me, however the comment you get from me may not be from the site you visited. That’s because I have more than one blog.
If you get bored here over there on the right under pages there’s some more rubbish to read.
Moat Drive and Hurst Green Road B62 9PY
Admission Free, free carpark park on Moat Road.
2nd entrance off Yates Lane off Cakemore Road
Nestled between houses, factories and motorway this park has a large area of managed grass and a children’s play ground close to the carpark at the main entrance, Multi-use games area court and football pitch. The park also has a small wooded area known as Millennium Wood. There is an abundance of dog waste bins but I didn’t see any rubbish bins, which makes me wonder if in summer this park is untidy. This time of year and with the amount of rain we have had there were only dog walkers there. I entered through the back entrance off Yates Lane which takes you along a small rough path and through trees it’s easy to think you are in the country not a built up area for a short time walking this way.
Cakemore Playing Fields.
Oldbury, B68 8BL
Tel: 0121569 3871
Car park for 11 cars
If you leave Hurst Green Park by the Yates Lane entrance on the right there is a footbridge over the motorway which leads onto Cakemore Playing Fields.
As this is a playing field used for football matches it is best to phone or check the website before visiting, on the day of my visit except for Tip Gulls it was deserted. There is very nice view of Rowley Hills from here.
Warrens Hall/Bumble Hole and Netherton Tunnel
Dudley Rd, Rowley Regis B65 8NA
Warrens Hall and Bumble hole lie next to each other and it is easy to wander from one to the other without knowing. I have always thought of it as if I am in grass, trees or open space I am in Warrens Hall. If I am by the canals and bridges I am in Bumble Hole. The entrance to the Netherton Tunnel is also located in Warrens Hall.
The whole area was once covered with industry, coal mining, iron works, clay extracting, coke furnaces and boat building the canal was a hive of activate.
Parts of Cobb’s engine house (real name Windmill End pumping station) still stands. It is a scheduled ancient monument and a Grade II listed building. Built around 1831 It housed a stationary steam pump used to pump water from Windmill End Colliery and later other mines in the area. In 1928 the station closed. In 1930 the Newcomen style engine was removed and taken to the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan.
The area now is a haven for wildlife and walking. There are ponds, grass land, wide open spaces and the canals. History can been seen everywhere, look out for the pepper pots ventilate points for the Netherton tunnel.
The Netherton Tunnel Branch Canal is built under ground under several suburban streets and can be walked, which I did. You do need a pair of good boots as the toe paths are potholed and full of water and also a torch, there are no lights. It makes for an interesting walk if a little disorientating, because it is so dark so no points of reference it’s easy to think you have walked further than you have. The one odd thing I found with the tunnel was the fact I could see my breath in the torch light however I felt quite warm, even when I stopped to take pictures.
The Tunnel opened in 1858 to reduce congestion on the Dudley Canal. The existing Dudley Tunnel had become a bottleneck that boats could wait weeks to pass through.
The tunnel is 1¾ miles long and runs underneath Warrens Hall Park to the edge of Tipton. The Tunnel took three years to build and began by digging 17 vertical shafts of 8 foot wide, the shafts were initially used to plot the tunnel’s course. When the tunnel
was completed, the shafts were kept in place for ventilation.
There are supposed to be ghosts in the tunnel, what self respecting old tunnel doesn’t. One is supposed to be a policeman who was killed, the other the traditional grey lady.
Not a ghost, but I couldn’t not post this. I was attempting to take this, but it was just so dark. I have changed it to black and white, lighten it and wow I have a ghost. 🙂
Dartmouth park was opened on 3rd June 1878 by the 5th earl of Dartmouth and Alderman Reuben Farley. At the time a Budget of £300 for building of the lodge and £2,500 for laying out the park was set, and landscaper were invited to send in designs for the gardens. Sites were marked within the Park for a cricket ground, ornamental waters, and carriageway. In 1887, the 6th Earl gave more land to extend the Park so that it could have a ‘pleasure pool’ and a swimming pool. The swimming pool was soon turned into Bowling Green. A boathouse and boating pool was also built, in fact it was still there in the 1980’s I used to take my son their and row him round the pool when he was small.
In June 1923 the then Prince of Wales visited the Park to present, on behalf of the 6th Earl of Dartmouth, the freehold of the Park to the people of West Bromwich In August 1923 the iconic War Memorial was unveiled by the Earl and still stands there now. 1928 saw the first paddling pool installed, which came from Drayton Manor – this was followed in the 1970s by a tiered water play area which was still there in the 80’s again something my son enjoyed. It was removed T some point in the 90’s I think.
The park has a band stand, a restored water fountain and the boating pool is now home to ducks. It is till a nice park, but nothing like it was.
On the day we visited the trees were in there autumn colours and looked beautiful, see photos here
Hagley, Stourbridge DY9 9JH
On a cold and misty Saturday we headed out to Kinver Edge.
Kinver Edge is a a 250-million-year-old sandstone escarpment. It is now a nature reserve owned by the National Trust. It still has a network of cavernous houses carved into the three rocks know as Holy Austin, Nanny’s and Vale’s.
There are some fantastic views from the top, where the Iron age hill fort once stood. Indents in the ground are all that is left now and to be honest if you didn’t know that there was once an hill fort there you could be forgiven for not realising. A small area is covered in Bilberry bushes as wildlife habitat, tree pipits make their nests there.
There are three rock houses on the edge, the earliest record of people living there is from 1777 and people still lived in them in the 1930s. The site became a tourist attraction at the turn of the 20th century, the people living there decided to cash in on it and served teas from their rock homes to the visitors. The more famous of the houses is Holy Austin, in 1993 restoration work started on Holy Austin and it is now a tearoom and tourist attraction. We have visited Holy in the past however it is now pre-book. The other two rock houses are Nanny’s Rock which is a natural cavern, we have in the past visited but didn’t this time, we will return soon to take another look at it. The last is Vale’s Rock, which is on three levels and was occupied into the 1950s, but is now overgrown and we have never been able to find it.
At this time of year some of the trees are beginning to take on their autumn colours and there are some wonderful fungi to be seen.
At the bottom of the hill there is a small War Memorial to the lost of Kinver Village
There are many waymarked paths to follow or you can just wander. If you go at the right time of the year you can see the long horned cows that are used to garden naturally.
Photos and be seen on this link https://getoutthere4.wordpress.com/2020/10/18/kinver-edge/
Hawkbatch wood and Skeys wood sit in part of the Wyre Forest in Kidderminster, West Midlands. There is plenty of free parking.
The Wyre forest is one of our last remaining ancient forests, over 8,000 years ago settlements sprang up overlooking the Severn Valley, 300 years ago the forest entered the industrial era with coal mining, charcoal burning and milling.
There are trails or you can please yourself, we decided to wander and take the turnings that felt right. The woods have just started to take on their autumn colours at this time of the year. Follow the river through Hawkbatch and you will come upon Knowles Mill. In the 19th century this was one of six mills that ran along Dowles Brook, the brook was used as a power source rather than the river Severn as it was easier to dam and regulate. The mill would have been used to make flour for Bewdley and animal feed. The mill had several owners but takes its name from the family that lived and worked it for 70 years in the 19th century. Many small mills went out of business due to the steam powder town mills, but Knowles mill lasted until 1891 when the big freeze and flood took its toll. You can still see what is left of the waterwheel at the side of the mill, (which is now a family home). After a while we came to a turning one way would take us back to the car park the other into Skeys wood, we took the wood path. Skeys wood has a splendid view of Trimpley reservoir and one of the Severn Valley railway bridges. (a bit of a climb up a steep hill).
Photos can be seen here https://getoutthere4.wordpress.com/2020/10/10/hawkbatch-woods-and-skeys-wood/
Cannock Chase Forest
os grid ref SK 018171
Admission free Parking fees depending on where you park
Cannock Chase forms part of what was once a large piece of land stretching from Stafford to Sutton Coldfield. It was uncultivated land, inhabited by deer, wild boar and wolves. In 1086, (probably because of this) William the Conqueror declared it to be his royal hunting forest. In 1290 part of Cannock Forest became the ‘Chase’ when the Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield’s took control of it. ‘Chase’ being the term used that referred to a forest being controlled by an individual rather than a monarch. The Bishop established a deer park and hunting lodge which was called Beaudesert, which means beautiful wild place. There are still deer on the Chase and soon there will be cows as they are going to be brought in graze, clearing land in the old natural way.
In the 13th century there where iron forges in the Forest. In 1546 a number of manors were sold to Sir William Paget, he soon realised that the area’s plentiful supply of ironstone, wood and water power could be used to develop the nearby iron industry. By 1584 Paget’s ironworks were producing 164 tons of iron per year. A few years later the courtier Fulke Greville gained a lease on 3,123 acres of woodland and two of Paget’s forges and furnaces, and by the end of the 16th most of the coppiced and pollarded woodland had been felled for charcoal. This destruction greatly enlarged existing areas of heathland, so during the 17th and 18th centuries it was used extensively for the grazing of animals.
In the 19th century trees were once again planted, but during the Great War trees were felled and the timber used for trench-building and industry. In 1919 the formation of the Forestry Commission was completed and planting on the Chase began again, trees dating back to this time can still be found today.
The Chase today is a wonderful place to walk, you can please yourself, or follow one of the 4 marked walks, there are many more that can be found on the internet, I have found nine this morning, and I know there is one that does the war graves because I did it many years ago. The forest also offers ‘Go Ape’, 4 cycling trails, Segway, dog trail, play areas, cafes and toilets. But really all you need is a pair of boots and to walk, enjoy the woodland, open spaces, views, pools, history, the place is beautiful and wild.
Baggeridge Country Park,
Car parking £1.80 for a hour £3.00 all day
Back to Baggeridge, this is a favorite of ours and other posts can be seen seen here, the history and here our last visit in 2018 This time we took the ridge walk, a walk we haven’t done in a long time.
After parking you have to walk back on yourself towards the road until you come to a small opening on the left hand side of the road, Gospel End Common. This first time we visited this walk many years ago the common was flat grassland with a notice saying it was being left to return nature, so it was lovely to see it had been left to do it’s own thing and is now full of wild flowers, brambles and wonderful purple heather’s, a lovely place for wildlife. Once over the common the walk takes you to the farm, go through the gate and turn left. Here you walk along the side of paddocks and tree lined paths. Now you have a choice of turning left or take a small detour across the field and down a small path to find the remains of old houses. Retrace your steps and join the small path and continue the walk, again you have a choice of staying on the main path or walking into the woodland, which is what we did. This area is left for den building among the fallen trees and has wonderful patches of bracken. After a while the walk takes you to some very steep steps which take you down to a small bridge and off the ridge.
The weather was still with us so we decided to take the walk up the steep hill to the top and the topper scope, the views from here are phenomenal, then it was the long steep walk down and time for home.
Broad Street Basin
1 ¾ mile one way 3 ½ round trip
Before heading onto the canal take a look at the two sculptures on the grass bank. ‘Round the Wrekin’ and ‘There and back again’ by Nick Lloyd. These sculptures were inspired by transport and are carved from Blue cream Clipsham Limestone in 2000 and originally stood outside the old Wolverhamton bus station and were moved to the basin in 2017. A short walk from the basin along the towpath brings you to the top lock cottages. Built in the late 18th century, they are surviving examples of typical canalside architecture, these cottages would have been the homes of the lock keeper and Tolls would have been collected from here.
In 1768 work began on a canal link from Birmingham to the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. The canal was built by hand by gangs of itinerant workmen known as navigators which is were we get the word ‘Navvies’ from, the bed of the canal is made from Puddled clay as this is a watertight material. The canal was built initially to allow for the cheaper transport of coal. The roads at the time were in such a bad state it made coal transport very expensive. The canal was originally built as a narrow channel following a circuitous route around obstructions to minimise construction costs. Future canals were built as wider navigations following straighter routes making the operation of delivering quicker.
Along the walk parts of the sign writing on the wall of the former Springfield Brewery, (now a Grade II Listed building) can still be seen, the brewery was built on this site for William Butler (Butler’s Brewery) to take advantage of high quality spring water found on the site. The brewery traded from 1873 to 1991.
What is now Fowlers Park was once a hive of activity, this is where railway tracks converged. The Park now attracts many birds including in spring, Willow Warblers.
Other interesting things that can been seen along the walk are,
The cast iron rubbing strip on the arch of Jordans Bridge.
Two girder bridges that carry several railway lines over the canal.
The imposing and beautiful Stour Valley viaduct which carries the main rail line from Wolverhampton to Stafford
and the north, and has twenty two arches.
The Oxley viaduct carrying the former GWR Birmingham to Shrewsbury line over the canal.
This brings you to lock 17 after which the canal becomes more rural, gone are the factories and bridges to be replaced by trees, wild life and some very cute baby ducks. Eventual you reach the final lock, lock 21 Aldersley
Junction, which was called Autherley No. 1 Junction in the past. This is an important junction between the
Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal and The Birmingham Canal Navigations and was opened in 1772.
This trail is a pleasant walk with a lot of history and things to explore, but there are some steep descents and ascents at the locks that might be hard work for pushchairs.
3 Leasowes Lane,
It’s been a long time since I have left the house except for food shopping and a long time since we have walked at Leasowes, in fact it was in 2017 and that post can be found here where you can read some of the parks history I decided that I had to come out of the house at some point so we headed off to Leasowes.
It has changed quite a bit since then, the lovely little glade has been turned into a sort of cut through stream with little water falls, which is still nice but I liked the glade. The whole place seems to have benefited from only having a few visitors, it feels and looks so much cleaner and there seems to be a lot more birds. The waterfalls and pools appear cleaner too.
We made our way around the park accompanied by a little robin who jumped from tree to tree until we reached the High Cascade, when he disappeared.
Get out there.
The Bishop’s Palace
Admission Adults £9.10 child £4.55
The Bishop’s Palace & Gardens have been home to the Bishops of Bath and Wells for over 800 years and sits right next door to the Cathedral. The best way to get your first view of the Palace is to approach it from Market square go through the archway known as the Bishop’s Eye and you will be greeted with a view of moat, gatehouse with drawbridge and ramparts topped with crenellations. The mid 1300’s were a time of great plague, famine and political war, Bishop Ralph had these ramparts built for protection and also as a symbol of authority and power. Today you can walk the remaining part of the Rampart, from here you can see the Tor, Mendips and the Cathedral. The moat as well as being part of the protection of the Palace as a practical purpose, it is a key role in taming the damp, marshy and often flooded land which surround the Palace. The moat is also home to mute swans, who ring a bell when they want feeding. To enter the ground you cross the flagstone drawbridge, walking under the portcullis.
Built for Bishop Jocelin work on the Place Began around 800 years ago, successive bishops have left their mark on the Palace. In the late 1200’s Bishop Burnell added a chapel and great hall, in the mid 1400’s Bishop Bekynton added the north range and tower and around 170 years ago Bishop Bagot added an additional storey.
Parts of the Palace are still used today but you can walk around the vaulted Undercroft with open fire and up the very impressive staircase to what would have been the rooms where the Bishop entertained, worked, dined and slept. From the undercroft you can enter the chapel built between 1275 and 1292 for Bishop Burnell, Chancellor of the Exchequer under Edward I. The chapel has been used for centuries by the Bishops of Bath and Wells, and their households, for private prayer. The chapel contains some fine patterns of stone tracery, medieval carved vaulted ceiling and sedilia. The tall stained glass windows were rescued from French churches damaged or abandoned after the Revolution of 1789, and more modern additions include the Somerset made early 20th century pews and a 21st century heraldic frieze displaying the bishops’ arms.
Now only a ruin the great hall (Bishop Burnell’s) was built alongside the chapel in the 1280’s. It is the third largest secular hall in England. During the second half of the 1500s it was stripped of its lead roof and the weather took its toll on the rest of the building. In the 19th century Bishop Law demolished two of the walls and used the remaining shell of the Great Hall in landscaping to create the Garden which can be seen today.
Set within the 14 acres of garden are ‘The Wells,’ this spring is named after the city of Wells. It is believed that these wells have had sacred significance for 1000’s of years, particularly the holy well of St Andrew. The ancient Well House built in 1451, part of the water system which was set up by Bishop Beckynton to provide fresh water to the townsfolk can be seen adjacent to the well pools.