Sunday, September 18, 2016

Hooton Roberts, Old Denaby, Mexborough, and Butterbusk

Since I can't find anywhere online at the moment where I can check for engineering works on the railway between Doncaster and Sheffield, rather than risk turning up at the railway station and discovering that there were no trains running again I thought I'd take the bus today and do a local walk.

I got off the X78 bus at Hooton Roberts and crossed the road to take some photographs of the church in the early morning sunlight.







I then took the country lane that was the start of my route to Old Denaby; downhill, then a track up on to the fields, then back down again to the village. Old Denaby is quite a pleasant place, but there's nothing old there. I suppose it was originally just called 'Denaby' before Denaby Main colliery opened.

Ferry Boat Lane was the obvious way for me to go to reach the foot bridges which cross over the railway line, the river, and then the canal. There's a lock at this location on the canal; I can't remember what it's called, but this one isn't Mexborough Lock.



I needed to walk through a housing estate and then along Doncaster Road for awhile until I re-joined the canal, walking along the towpath until I reached the next lock. All the locks along this section of the canal are automatic, and here's a photograph of the operating instructions.



There was no footpath or towpath beyond this lock; the canal re-joined the river just beyond the lock-keeper's cottage. I had to double back and take a footpath which led me through the woods to the Transpennine Trail; it was rather muddy and overgrown in places.

After a few hundred yards I took a short detour to climb to the summit of an artificial hill which I think is called 'Observation Hill' - there are certainly fine views from here.


This whole area used to be the site of two collieries, together with sundry railway sidings and coal loading facilities, so I think that this hill is where some of the demolition rubble was piled up and then topsoil added.

Along this stretch of the walk there were a lot of pretty purple flowers growing in large clumps. I took a photograph, but for some reason, even though it was bright sunlight the flash fired and bleached the image so that the flowers appear to be almost white...they are purple though, and I think they might be Cape daisies because I used to have some in my garden.




It was only a short walk to Conisbrough Viaduct, where the final photograph was taken.



It was then a short, but steep, climb up to the main road at a spot between Conisbrough and Warmsworth which I think is called Butterbusk; there are about a dozen houses there, two garages, and a water tower.