Black Hill - 14th April 2007
Date 14th April 2007 Description Black Hill
Start Point Crowden Peaks Climbed Black Hill 582m
Total Time 4hrs 28min   Hey Edge 424m
Walking Time 3hrs 50min    
Stopped Time 0hrs 38min    
Distance 10.15 miles    
Moving Average 2.7 mph    
Elevation at Start 211 metres Temperature 18°C to 22°C
Total Ascent 560 metres Weather Sunny
Max Elevation 582 metres Walking With On Own

Crowden - Pennine Way - Oakenclough Brook - Laddow Rocks - Red Ratcher - Dun Hill - Black Hill (Soldiers Lump) - Tooleyshaw Moss - White Low - Westend Moss - Hey Edge - Loftend Quarry - Crowden

It was a great day for walking ... lovely wall to wall blue sky (a little hazy looking to Bleaklow mind you) and very warm for the time of the year. I decided to travel to the north of Derbyshire for a walk on the remote moors. As I was driving to Crowden in Longdendale I just could not make my mind up where I should head for ... would it be Bleaklow (one of Angela's favourites) or Black Hill which I had not visited before!! In the end I picked Black Hill.

Starting from Crowden Car Park (which was surprisingly empty at 9.00am) I walked by the camp site and eventually (after a left and right turn) onto the Pennine Way. When leaving the car park I noticed "one" wellington boot turned upside down on a post ... how odd ... did the person who had lost this not realise he would have to hop his way home!!! Interestingly there are also two benches with great Peak District poems inscribed upon them (see below). The path from Crowden along the Pennine Way is in the main very easy to follow except for a very short section north of Laddow Rocks near Red Ratcher.

It is a reasonably gradual climb to Laddow Rocks. Before arriving there one passes a lovely waterfall at Oakenclough Brook. There were a few climbers on the Rocks today. From Laddow Rocks there are great views to Crowden Great Brook and the moors heading towards Black Hill. I met two runners at different times on the way to Black Hill ... the first looked fresh and full of energy ... the second had to stop - he was worn out complaining it was far too hot to run!!!! After Laddow Rocks I went by Red Ratcher alongside Crowden Great Brook. The sides of the hill were red (as you might expect) and the water in the brook a reddish brown. At this point I had to cross some slightly boggy ground and also the path was a little indistinct. Not for long though!! ... the Pennine Way returned with avengence ... a paved walkway to the summit of Black Hill!!

Today the weather conditions were very clear so no problems with navigation to the top. I could well imagine this would be a place where you could really get lost without a map and compass and good navigational skills. Be warned ... always be prepared for the worst!!

Black Hill stands at 582 metres (1,908 feet) and the triangulation point (BM s.2958) is situated in an elevated position with stones surrounding its base. Until recently the base was bare of any stones and with no Pennine Way paving slabs the area around the top was very boggy. Many have described it as "A very Black Hill indeed". Wainwright said "It is not the only fell with a summit of peat, but no other shows such a desolate and hopeless quagmire to the sky. Hopefully the new Pennine Way path and the protected trig point should help the surrounding area to a better and safer condition. The official name of the summit is "Soldier's Lump" which is a reference to the eighteenth century visits of the Royal Engineer surveyors who first used it as a triangulation point. An examination of the mound in 1841 revealed the timber framework for the theodolite which was used for the survey which began in 1784.

From the summit and for most of the walk back to Crowden the tall television mast at Holme Moss can be seen. A south easterly direction should be taken from the summit to shortly arrive at a fence and stile. Then its following cairns through grough channels. The thin path (indistinct in some places) crosses Tooleyshaw Moss to pass White Low on its way to Westend Moss. From Westend Moss the path starts to descend down to a flat marshy area. where a reasonable path continues back to Longdendale and Crowden. However from here you can see the triangulation point on Hey Edge. Take a direct route to this point minding your step as you go. Hey Edge stands at 424 metres (1,391 feet). Good views from the trig point (BM s.2640) back to Westend Moss and across to Laddow Rocks can be gained. From here follow the ridge back to Loftend Quarry (locally known as Moses Quarry) which employed 100 men producing kerbstones for the city of Sheffield. Then its following one of several paths back to Crowden.

It really was an enjoyable day out on the moors with fantastic weather. Can't wait to get back to this area again.

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Reference Books Used

Peak District Ramblers Guide by Roly Smith (Collins)
Maps Used
OL1 Explorer - The Peak District (Dark Peak Area)
Start at Crowden Car Park (notice Wellie!!)
Crowden Camp Site
Path joins Pennine Way
Start of Pennine Way to Black Hill
Path near Highstone Rocks
Crowden Great Brook
Pennine Way near Black Tor
Pennine Way near Black Tor
Path near Rakes Rocks
Oakenclough Brook
Oakenclough Brook
Climber on Laddow Rocks
Laddow Rocks
Laddow Rocks
Climber on Laddow Rocks
Climber on Laddow Rocks
Runner on Pennine Way
Crowden Great Brook at Red Ratcher
Crowden Great Brook
Red Ratcher
Pennine Way "pavement" to Black Hill
Black Hill (Soldiers Lump) Summit
Pennine Way "pavement" to Black Hill
Pennine Way "pavement" to Black Hill
Black Hill (Soldiers Lump) Summit
Black Hill (Soldiers Lump) Summit
Black Hill (Soldiers Lump) Summit
Black Hill (Soldiers Lump) Summit
Looking back to Black Hill
Stile near Black Hill on Tooleyshaw Moss
Path through grough channels
Path through grough channels
Holme Moss Television Station Mast
Descending Tooleyshaw Moor
White Low with Holme Moss Mast
Westend Moss
Hey Edge Summit Trig Point
Hey Edge Summit with Westend Moss
Hey Edge Summit Trig Point
Hey Edge Summit looking to Bareholme Moss
Crowden Little Moor from Hey Edge
Crowden Little Moor from Loftend Quarry
Loftend Quarry
Woodhead Reservoir from Loftend Quarry
Descending back to Crowden
Woodhead Reservoir
Woodhead Reservoir with Longdendale Trail
A drained Torside Reservoir

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