Boulsworth Hill

Boulsworth Hill – 4th July 2014

Boulsworth Hill is a large expanse of moorland the highest point of the South Pennines of south-eastern Lancashire, England, separating the District of Pendle from Calderdale. Its summit, Lad Law, is 517 m (1,696 ft) above sea level, and commands views over Pendle Hill, the Forest of Bowland, the Yorkshire Dales, and the South Pennines.

This walk starts at  the car park just outside Wycoller due to the narrow access road. Follow the path that takes you into the heart of the village before crossing the eye-catching packhorse bridge towards the ruins of Wycoller Hall – thought to be the inspiration for Ferndean Manor in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. But instead of falling victim to a dramatic fire, this hall sadly fell into disrepair over the generations. Wycoller Hall, has a massive fireplace and alongside it, an unusual keyhole shaped recess.

Click on pictures to enlarge


Packhorse Bridge


Packhorse Bridge


Wycoller Hall


Clam Bridge

Wycoller Hall dates back to the end of the 16th century, and was built upon the site of a house occupied in 1507 by Piers Hartley. By the 1590s a substantial house had been built, probably sometime in the mid 16th century, replacing Piers’ original dwelling. The estate then came into the possession of the Cunliffe family, after the marriage of Pier’s daughter Elizabeth to Nicholas Cunliffe in 1611. They had a number of children, one of whom, John, married Grace Hartley in 1628. The Cunliffes settled at Wycoller in the 1720s, after losing their ancestral home to debts. The estate then passed through several brothers, all of whom died without issue, before passing to the grandson of one of the sisters, Henry Owen, on the condition that Owen took the name Cunliffe. He took the name Henry Owen Cunliffe, and became the new squire. He embarked on a large building project for the hall, to create a home that he felt would be worthy of his position, and that would attract a new wife. Henry was however a keen sportsman and gambler, and ran up heavy debts. On his death in 1818 the property passed to his nephew, Charles Cunliffe Owen, but Charles could not afford to pay off the debts, and the estate was parcelled off to the creditors. The hall passed to a distant relative, John Oldham, and then to the Rev. John Roberts Oldham. The latter arranged for large parts of the stonework to be sold off to build a cotton mill at Trawden.


Little Chair Stones – a collection of low, wind-carved boulders


Lads Law Trig-point – summit of Boulworth Hill


Lads Law Trig-point


Looking towards Briarfield


Andrew Annette Ian & John


Full circle – Wycoller and the pack house bridge

Boulsworth Hill Route
Walk statistics
Total Distance 11.6km
Total Time 4:40 hrs
Ave Moving Speed 3.9km
Ave Speed 2.5km
Total Ascent 511m
Total Descent 511m

Boulworth Hill