Monday, May 27, 2013

Maltby, Roche Abbey, Laughton en le Morthen, Brookhouse, Carr, and Hooton Levitt.

Another local walk today; this time travelling just over the borough boundary into Rotherham.

I've visited Roche Abbey before, but never actually paid to look close up at the ruins. Now that I'm a member of English Heritage I was able to go through the entrance to explore for a few minutes - it wasn't for long though, there's not that much to see.

The day started with a long wait at the bus station, half an hour longer than expected: the nine o'clock bus didn't turn up. With it being a bank holiday a Sunday service must have been in operation on this route.

I arrived at Maltby at ten o'clock and walked down the steps near to the war memorial and started the walk in the churchyard. I don't think the church is very old, but it was looking rather attractive this morning.


The path I walked along follows Maltby Beck all the way to Roche Abbey, passing through mainly woodland, but also some stretches of open meadow which were carpeted with buttercups, daisies and dandelions.

It only took me about half an hour to reach the abbey. The young woman who was working there went out of her way to tell me that there's not much to see; only one information board...and half a dozen seats. Maybe she hoped I'd buy a guide book. The setting of the ruins is beautiful though, and very peaceful. I found a seat in the sunshine with a good view of the ruins, the main towers in particular, and ate my sandwiches. I then wandered around the site for no more than fifteen minutes, taking photographs: I wasn't happy with any of the results - I've taken much better photographs on previous visits.

Before leaving Roche Abbey I went to the toilets and for a couple of seconds didn't know what I was supposed to do when I saw a strange combination of sinks with a urinal trough.


Fortunately, I soon realised there were some standard urinals around the corner.

Just beyond the ruins there is a six foot high waterfall with some stepping stones near to the drop; I'm glad I didn't have to walk over them.



I then walked through some more woodland and climbed out of the valley to walk along the edge of a field, and then a bit later along the top of a ridge which dropped away fairly steeply to my right....bearing in mind that this is rural Rotherham, and not the Peak District.

After a few more minutes I was walking along the first stretch of road today, into Laughton en le Morthen. I was disappointed to discover that the pub was closed, and there wasn't a shop in the village.

The lane into Brookhouse was steep by any comparison and my calf muscles were feeling it. I just skirted the hamlet of Brookhouse, taking the driveway which leads up to Thurcroft Hall. The path continued uphill, across fields and through a wood before descending down to the road that leads to Carr.

It's a short walk to Hooton Levitt, marred by pylons and overhead powerlines. From Hooton Levitt the route I took went down a steep lane and then across fields, with the buildings of Maltby not coming into view until I'd almost reached the church again.

I walked up to the bus stop, checking the timetable and hoping that I'd only have ten minutes to wait. I was caught out by the reduced frequency of the bank holiday service again though.