Scout and I were out on Loxley Common this morning. It is a wonderful place of ancient woodland and heath, low gritstone edges and sandy paths. We go there just about everyday, to play and learn.
It was a sad start to the day, Scout had his first find. He shot over to what at first I took for a rabbit, but turned out to be a Fox Cub. Scout lost interest and moved on, but Alison and I just stood transfixed by this beautiful creature that lay so still at our feet.
He was just laid on open common. I could not leave him there so picked him up to move him to a place of rest. He was still warm and showed no signs of injury except a broken neck. He laid almost as though he was running and about to pounce on some prey. Front legs raised back legs powered out.
He was a beautiful creature, the eyes still alive, his fur, brown and white, soft to the touch. I cradled him in my hands and found a spot in the woodlands, under brambles and on a bed of leaves and laid him to rest in a place of nature, somewhere he would have spent hours with his mother.
I stood back and looked and thought, and saw him chasing rabbits across the heath.
On Loxley Common there are a great number of small quarries still visible where the Chatsworth seam of gritstone was so close to the surface men just had to walk in and take it. The 1792 Parliamentary enclosure of Loxley Common gave rise to quarrying and mining.
High Bradfield Church, Peak District National Park
Enclosure Wall Loxley Common
An old quarry on Loxley Common on the Peak District boundary
It’s nice to live so close to easily accessible geology. Gritstone is all around the Dark Peak area of the Peak District. On Loxley Common there are a great number of small quarries still visible where the Chatsworth seam of gritstone was so close to the surface men just had to walk in and take it. The 1792 Parliamentary enclosure of Loxley Common gave rise to quarrying and mining. The mines were for coal and gannister both closely associated with Chatsworth Grit. The quarrying was for stone for local use, the enclosure walls were made from the stone found right next to the line of build. Gritstone was also in demand for building and the area around Loxley Common is mainly of gritstone build, including High Bradfield Church, a wonderful example of the finish that could be achieved with the material. A Mrs Sissons and a Mr Pearce both had ownership or licence of the quarries on Loxley Common in the latter of the 19th century, with Sheffield growing at a fast rate and the use of gannister in steel and glass production becoming widespread, it must have been a very profitable business.