Today, I restart my WordPress website. I stopped writing novellas and short stories after lockdown ended, but I still take photographs whenever I can, and I wish to use this Blog as a photobook. I’ve closed my Amazon Kindle Author’s page and facility. With all of this my blog will look quite different to anyone who has read or followed any of my old posts.
Each day – or at least most days – I intend to post one or more images and to say a little about them (the writing bit)
When I say that I’m starting afresh I mean it quite literally. I’ve already deleted all my previous posts permanently and, this morning, I intend to delete all my archive records and begin the process of creating a new main page and menus. This may take some time because I’ve forgotten almost everything that I learned two or more years ago.
Today’s photograph is of the ancient packhorse bridge at Wycoller.
Wycoller is a tiny village in East Lancashire, in the north of England. It’s around 4 miles east of the town of Colne, close to the border with West Yorkshire.
Wycoller is set in a wooded valley, surrounded by beautiful rolling countryside, between wild moorland and brooding Pendle Hill. Although you’re only an hour from Leeds and Manchester, at Wycoller you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere. The Wycoller Beck flows through the village, crossed by seven lovely bridges, including the picturesque twin-arched packhorse bridge.
On one side of the bridge you’ll find the village and its quaint old houses which have been beautifully restored and are now much sought-after. On the other side are the ruins of Wycoller Hall, which is believed to have the inspiration for Ferndean in Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre.
There are lots of gorgeous walks around Wycoller, but the one you must take during your visit is up behind the ruined hall, through the woods and up the hill following what feels like an ancient path. At the top of the hill you’ll find a strange black UFO-like viewpoint. This is the Atom Panopticon, one of the four East Lancashire panopticons.
Cross Wycoller’s historic bridges
There are three ancient and historic bridges in Wycoller. The oldest, the Clam Bridge is made of a single slab of stone which may once have been a standing stone. It’s believed to date back to the Iron Age.
The Clapper Bridge is probably Medieval (although some historians think it might date back to before the Norman Conquest) and is made of simple stone slabs. The deep groove in the middle was worn away by the metal soles of weavers’ shoes over hundreds of years.
The prettiest bridge in Wycoller is the Pack Horse Bridge, sometimes known as Sally’s Bridge after Henry Owen Cunliffe’s mother. It’s very charming and picturesque, with its two wonky arches and moss-covered stones. It’s believed to date from either the 13th or 15th centuries, but some of the stones are much older. If you look closely, you can see faint prehistoric cup marks – suggesting that they were taken from an ancient site on the moors above Wycoller.