Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Elsecar, Street, Wentworth, and Kimberworth Park

A walk today that's not really local, but it's not that near to the Peak District either.

I caught one of the frequent trains from Doncaster to Meadowhall and then the hourly Leeds stopping train, and got off at Elsecar.

I walked down the quite steep road and arrived at Elsecar Heritage Centre at just after nine thirty. The site was open [it's free admission] and I was able to visit the toilets and have good look round and take plenty of photos, but most of the shops and cafés didn't open until 10:00 or 10:30. I've been here several times before; my favourite thing to do is wander round and linger in the antiques centre...I never buy anything though.

I love the old tin advertising  boards that are attached to the outside of the building.



I walked over to the nearby Newcomen Beam Engine but didn't bother to take my camera out of its case because the building was covered in scaffolding; it's good news that it's being repaired though.

There are several follies in the Wentworth area and the footpath to the first of these starts off going along the boundary wall of the Heritage Centre, then up through woodland and across fields. The views are far reaching; I could see the Aire Valley power stations and the wind farm at Penistone. Occasionally I looked down too, and noticed some very pretty wildflowers which I'm sure I haven't seen before.



I got no warning of my approach to the Needle's Eye, it's situated in a clearing some way back from the path; you could easily miss it if you didn't know it was there.


It wasn't far until the path reached the road; I crossed it and took the country lane almost directly opposite, which leads to the hamlet of Street. Once past the houses the lane is no more than a track. At this point, if you know what you're looking for, you can just make out the second folly of the day, Hoober Stand



The summit of the hill where the Stand is located is quite dense woodland, but only a few yards away, in the clear, I was able to enjoy some lovely views.


I then descended across a field and returned to Street and took a footpath which led me to the road, which I needed to walk along for a few hundred yards before reaching Wentworth. I explored the village for a few minutes, popping into the shop to get something to drink, and banging my head both going in and coming out, on the lintel above the door.

I spent a bit of time photographing the church.


Next stop was the garden centre, which is lovely place to visit with the family; all I required today though was a mug of tea from the café.

The entrance to Wentworth Park is only a few hundred yards away and after only a short walk I arrived at the magnificent stables block; so magnificent that some people supposedly mistake this for the actual country house which is the reason for the park. (The red lawnmower in the picture is the size of a small tractor.)



Wentworth Woodhouse is truly awe inspiring; it's the largest private house in Europe...and it's massive. Unfortunately it's not open to the public. It's in a rather bad state of disrepair, so I couldn't get up close for any photographs even if I wanted to. Close up shots wouldn't do it justice though; in order to capture all of the frontage in a shot I had to stand a long way away.


Wentworth Park is actually a deer park, or a 'gun park' as it says on all of the signs. Just beyond the house, in a fenced off area though, there are two more follies, a temple and a shrine [I think]. In a wooded area quite a distance from the house I caught sight of the animals, unusually in a mixed herd with cows - I'm sure there's a mother-in-law joke hidden in that line somewhere.


I don't know what type of deer they are, but they do seem to be different to the ones I saw at Northern College last month, which also has a deer park in the grounds.

The park gently slopes downhill; at the bottom of the hill there are a couple of nice lakes. By now the map that I'd printed from the internet was no use to me because it didn't cover this area. I was confident that, irrespective of whichever path I took, I'd arrive at a location where I could catch a bus back to Rotherham.

I think I ended up at Kimberworth Park, but before getting there I was able to see the last two Wentworth FolliesKeppel's Column, and the Rockingham Mausoleum on the skyline.

I didn't have long to wait for the bus into Rotherham, where I did a bit of shopping and had a meal in a pub. The pub had an unusual name, and seemed to have a problem as to where it really is, as you can see from the till receipt.