I like walking. You see and hear so many new and interesting things if you take time and look around.
A few days back I took a walk around Silverdale and while there spent some time in Eaves Wood. A short way from Eaves Wood I came across The Pepperpot.
At Eaves Wood the whole hillside consists largely of ancient and undisturbed woodlands. The bare limestone with its thin soil is home to numerous yew trees, while deeper soils support oak and lime trees. There is also ash, beech, birch, hazel,larch, pine, hawthorn and holly (Not to mention areas of grass and heather.) The limestone is also of interest, though after heavy rain its smooth pavements can become a slimy, mossy slither for the unwary. In wet weather you should proceed with care. This is an ancient place, a place where you can feel, and be close to, nature.
From Eaves Wood, there is a path to the summit of Castlebarrow Hill and here you will find The Pepperpot. The summit of Castlebarrow stands at over 250 feet above sea level, but being largely backed by dense woodland its only real prospect is to the south-east, where there is bird’s eye view over Silverdale, which lies immediately below. Further afield however there are other treats. If the weather is really clear, The Ashton Memorial and Blackpool Tower can be in view, along with the great ‘box’ of Heysham Power Station and the distant summit of Clougha Pike. Looking towards Yorkshire the view is dominated by the table-topped summit of distant Ingleborough, and last, but by no means least, there is the southern part of Morecambe Bay, glittering in the sunshine.
The Pepperpot (originally known as the Pepperbox) is a circular roughstone tower, about twenty feet high with a conical roof. It was built at the instigation of the Hebden family, who then owned Castlebarrow; the builder being a local man by the name of Mr. Bowskill. Its purpose (your average folly builder’s excuse) was to commemorate the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887. Apparently there was once a plaque telling the story of the monument, but this fell prey to vandals long ago and was never replaced. During the Great War, soldiers were billeted at nearby Bleasdale House, a Red Cross hospital, and it is said that they planned to build a ‘Salt Cellar’ to keep The Pepperpot company, though nothing was ever done. In 1977 the idea was mooted again, this time the silver jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II being the proffered excuse, but nothing materialised, and we must live in hope of any future efforts.
Sitting atop Castlebarrow on a bright early spring day with sunlight glistening on the water of the bay, listening to birdsong and admiring snowdrops and early daffodils, a better way to spend an hour I cannot imagine.
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