Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Petroglyphs Of Edderthorpe

Stairfoot, Cundy Cross, Monk Bretton Priory, and Great Houghton.

There were no trains running to Sheffield again today so I caught the Barnsley bus to go on an expedition to photograph the 'Petroglyphs of Edderthorpe.' I discovered these rock carvings by accident about five years ago when walking with my brother down in a dark, deep, damp, and overgrown railway cutting...there are several dozen carvings of varying quality, carved over a period of several decades I should think. They're definitely not easy to find and I think this might be the first time they have been featured anywhere online...I spent quite a few minutes researching the other day.

As the bus passed through one of the estates at Darfield a middle-aged woman got on and asked for a 'return to Darfield from Stairfoot.'; the driver was confused, so was I...I've never heard anyone ask for a return fare to a particular destination like that before.

I got off the bus at Stairfoot, together with the woman who was on the first leg of her return journey, and several other people as well. I crossed the dual carriageway without any difficulty and walked up the road towards Cundy Cross and Monk Bretton Priory. I'd only been walking for a few minutes when I reached the TransPennine Trail; there was a decent view to look at here.

It wasn't long until I reached the priory where I lingered for about ten minutes taking photographs.

I then walked through a short section of Dearne Valley Country Park before the path took me up to the old railway viaduct. There was then a very complicated network of criss-crossing and parallel paths at different heights along old railway routes and meadows next to the river until I reached the particular cutting where the petroglyphs have been carved.

It was very dark down in the cutting and photography wasn't easy; I had to use the manual settings on the camera for the first time and many of the shots were unusable, too dark, out of focus, or over-exposed. These six turned out fine though; the bird glyph is recent, it wasn't there five years ago. 

A few hundred yards beyond the petroglyphs I had to scramble down the side of a bridge abutment; it was steep and a tight squeeze. Once safely down I was walking along another abandoned railway line, which I eventually left to cross over the footbridge spanning the new Grimethorpe road. It was then a short walk over the top of the landscaped spoilheap until I reached Great Houghton. The bus back to Doncaster was due, and so I caught it. I'd had enough for today; my feet were hurting me because I'd spent a lot of time walking on railway ballast and the tread on my boots was very worn. They weren't my best hiking boots, or even my number two pair - they were the first pair I grabbed off the shelf and were quite old and shabby...I won't be grabbing them again though because they're in the bin now. 

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