Sunday, 1 April 2018

Over the border to Wycoller in Lancashire.

Wycoller is a village in the civil parish of Trawden Forest in Pendle, Lancashire, England. It is located 3 miles east of Colne, near to the junction of the Lancashire, West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire borders.

The village dates back to before the 10th century BC. Central to the village are the ruins of Wycoller Hall. The village is a conservation area, and is closed to outside traffic. There is a car park on Trawden Road and another on the east side of the village opposite Height Laithe Farm on the road towards Haworth.

We have not been here before, and I was looking forward to seeing the ruins of the Hall. 
Driving over into Lancashire through some pretty little towns, I was surprised how it was not to far from where we live.

As you approach  Wycoller  the roads get smaller and smaller and care needs to be taken, unbeknown to use it was a Easter duck race on the beck in the village, which they hold every year. We got parked and left before the end of the race (good tip). It was so nice to see so many people turning up with their family's on a cold Easter day.

Cars are not allowed down in the village, so it didn't take long before the car park was full.
Walking down you can look for Fairies .

Fitted in the small spaces left where branches have been pruned and installed by the Trawden Forest Fairies group across Wycoller and Trawden Forest, the inspiration for the project has its roots in the organiser's father's stories about fairies living in a big tree off Barrowford Road, and aims to delight any children who find them.

15th century Pack-Horse Bridge

 'Pack-Horse Bridge', a twin arched bridge in the centre of the village, 

End of the duck race.

Wycoller is probably most famous for its Bronte connection. Today Wycoller Hall stands in ruins but this 16th century hall is believed to have been the inspiration for Ferndean Manor in Charlotte Bronte’s novel, ‘Jane Eyre’. The Brontes lived at Haworth, not far from Wycoller, and Charlotte would have passed through here on her way to Gawthorpe Hall when she went to stay with the Kay-Shuttleworths. Charlotte’s description of Ferndean Manor when approached from the old coach road fits Wycoller Hall perfectly.

Originally owned by the Hartley family, the hall was extended in the late 18th century by its last owner, Squire Cunliffe. A keen gambler, Cunliffe also borrowed money against Wycoller Hall to fund the building work. He died heavily in debt in 1818. After his death, stones from the Hall were plundered to build nearby houses and other structures. The hall subsequently fell into ruin.(LINK)

Wycoller Barn

The barn at Wycoller Hall in Wycoller Country Park, Lancashire was built about 1650, probably using timbers from an earlier cruck barn.

It is a typical northern aisled barn with five bays, wide aisles suitable for stalling cattle and a low-pitched roof. The openings in the side indicate it was later converted to a coach house for the hall.

The barn is now the visitor centre for the park. There is large mill pond just above the barn.

On display in the Barn.

The atmospheric ruins of the hall lie by Wycoller Beck which flows through the village. The beck is crossed by no less than seven bridges, the oldest of which is Clam Bridge. Possibly more than 1000 years old, the bridge is listed as an Ancient Monument. It is a simple bridge, just a single slab laid across the beck. It may also have once had a handrail.

Clam Bridge

Close to the ruins of Wycoller Hall is the late 18th / early 19th century Clapper Bridge. Grooves in the bridge formed by the weavers’ clogs were apparently chiselled flat by a farmer whose daughter fell and was fatally injured on the bridge.

Pendle’s Panopticon, Atom

Pendle’s Panopticon, Atom, rests on the hillside above Wycoller village in Wycoller Country Park. Constructed in ferro-cement with a surface coating of metal-based paint, it is both a striking contemporary viewing point and shelter from which to enjoy Pendle’s glorious scenery, and an intriguing and beautiful object which can be viewed from afar. From inside, its circular viewing spaces frame spectacular views of the surrounding countryside, and an initially hidden, polished steel ball reflects back those views to the visitor. (link)

Walking up the hill , the path is lined with large stones.

Pendle Hill
 (Not Ingleborough)
(thanks kjsutcliffe )

Pendle Hill is located in the east of Lancashire, England, near the towns of Burnley, Nelson, Colne, Clitheroe and Padiham. Its summit is 557 metres (1,827 ft) above mean sea level. It gives its name to the Borough of Pendle. It is an isolated hill, separated from the Pennines to the east, the Bowland Fells to the northwest, and the West Pennine Moors to the south. It is included in detached part of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Fans of the film, ‘The Railway Children’ starring Jenny Agutter may recognise this bridge. In a sequence from the film, Bobbie (Jenny Agutter) is seen sitting on the bridge, talking to Dr Forrest who is driving his pony and trap through the ford.

Finds of flint tools and axe heads at Wycoller indicate that there was a community here from as early as the Stone Age. A small sheep farming community in the 17th century, by the late 18th century the village was booming. Weaving had come to Wycoller. Weaving with a hand loom was now the main occupation of the vast majority of households in the village. However this period of relative affluence was not to last.

The invention of power looms in the 19th century led to the village’s decline. Weavers had to move to nearby towns to find work in the developing mills. Over 35 houses were abandoned and fell into ruin. By 1896 the majority of people had moved away from the village and it was virtually deserted.


Now a country park, visitors can stroll through the picturesque village with its remaining cottages, beck and ruined hall. There is a Craft Centre with Victorian tearoom and gift shop in the village.

Wycoller Craft centre and Cafe


  1. You spent a lovely day about 2 miles from I live! Wycoller is a regular haunt for us xx and if you are interested and on facebook - Trawden Forest Fairies have their own page. I am lucky enough to have four fairy doors in my garden and there are several in our village too, we love finding them on our walks. The hill you have called 'Ingleborough' is actually Pendle :) Lovely photos x

    1. Thank you kjsutcliffe , such a lovely area you live in. Going to look at more places to visit in Lancashire as it's a place we don't often go. And thanks for letting me know about the mistake on the hill, had not got my barrings and thought it was Ingleborough i could see in the distance. Have been to Pendle, but many years ago, when I lived at home, Settle I could see Pendle hill in the distance.

  2. What an interesting village - so much to see and do and fascinating to read of all the history.

    I love those fairy doors - what a really super idea especially for the young of all ages!! :) The old bridges are brilliant - I always love finding a pack-horse bridge. Good to read of the Bronte connection too and I have never seen anything like the Pendle Pantopticon Atom. I must show my son - we stopped off at a museum in Pendle on our way back from the Yorkshire holiday because son is fascinated by the story of the Pendle witches.

    You are lucky to have such interesting villages near to home - love the fossil too!!!

    1. Thanks RR, I had not known it was there, a friend of my OH just mentioned it in passing and said they often go there for a walk. It would be nice to go back in the summer and explore a little further. The craft centre and cafe was lovely, I would have liked a slice of cake, but it was so busy due the duck race.The fairy doors were so cute.

  3. I very much enjoyed reading about your visit! I had a short walk here quite a few years ago, it was a bitterly cold winter day and we didn't have a lot of time but I did enjoy our brief visit... I've been meaning to go back for a longer walk in the area ever since but haven't yet managed it!

    1. Thank you Louise, it's worth another visit. It was cold and snowing for us too...

  4. Thank you so much for taking us on such an interesting walk. I've been to Haworth & know about the Brontes (having read several of their novels too), and have also read the Railway Children & seen the film. May have to put that Panopticon on my to do list, as I've been to the one at Burnley. Thanks again & take care.

    1. Thanks Susan for the lovely comment, I was so pleased to have made the visit so if you are interested in the Bronte's I would recommend going. The village and area is locked in time with a lovely atmosphere. Just going to look at the old bridges is worth the trip.

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  6. What a beautiful place and I love the fairy doors, such a simple delightful thing to do. Lovely photos (but crossing the border, shocking :p !!) xx

    1. Thanks Pam, You would love it here. Half of my family live in Lancashire other half in Yorkshire. Often cause for some amusement!

  7. Lovely post. So much of interest to read about and your photos are wonderful. It's an area I've never been to and it looks fascinating although we have been close by at Howorth and Heptonstall. Both the old hall and the barn at the country park look like interestng places and I like the views throgh the holes in the panopticon:)

    1. Thanks Rosie, A place you would love to visit I am sure, well worth the trip if you get chance.

  8. I love the fairy Granddaughter would love those in my garden.

    Beautiful ruins, but more than anything I love the horse bridge. Absolutely full of history and character. I want it in my garden please.

    1. Thanks Cheryl, the bridges were amazing especially "Calm bridge" with it's long piece of stone. This bridge was the start of the duck race so unable to walk across. Hopefully we will visit again when a little quieter.

  9. Another wonderful post.
    Like Cheryl above, I too like the fairy doors and my grand-daughter would love them too.
    We always have at least one fairy somewhere in the garden ...

    I enjoyed reading your post and I always enjoy the photographs you share.

    All the best Jan

    1. Thanks Jan , always lovely to hear from you. Think they have a Facebook group were you can have one made if you are interested , they are so cute.