The approach ram to Cave House from the South East
The approach ram to Cave House from the walled enclosure above
Approach to the house from the quarry behind
Scout stood at the corner of the enclosure with the recess that has holes for wooden supports in the walls
Dressed stone from Cave House
Approach in to Cave House yard
The stone seen in the photo from picturesheffield
I went to have a look for Cave House on Loxley Common today. The Ordnance Survey map of 1852 shows the dwelling sitting on the edge of a rectangular enclosure so it should not be too much of a problem in identifying it.
I found the remains quite quickly sitting just below the Loxley Edge right where the map said it would be. There isn’t much left of it. Because of copyright I have no image to show, but this is what it looked like here . It was demolished in the 1920’s using explosives, probably from the quarry workings and possibly because there is a quarry right behind it and the approach to the house up a nice ramp would have made easy access for the stone to be removed.
The house was built into the rock and consumed a cave as part of the dwelling. Its construction was known as a fire house, all of it being built of stone including floors, another was the old Robin Hood pub in Little Matlock across the valley, built by the same person. Mrs Revill who lived in the house with her husband was found murdered in the house at the turn of 1812, her husband went quietly mad and finally hung himself at the house before the next year was out.
A few decades before, one Frank Fearn, lured a watchmaker to the Old Horns Inn at High Bradfield and killed him on his way back to Sheffield. He was caught and tried and hung, then gibbeted on Loxley Common for seventeen years until his bones fell out of the iron girdle on Christmas Day. A few years later an accomplice of Spencer Broughton the highwayman escaped capture and hid out on Loxley Common. When found he committed suicide there instead of being captured and hung.
Who would have thought one small area could see so much crime and punishment.
For some reason, I could not tell you why it is so please don’t ask, often I like to have a purpose to a walk. Its a simple mechanism I use of getting from A-B by convincing myself that there is a higher motive, than merely spending hours away from society, that feels like skivving and my working class upbringing definitely did not condone skivving.
So this year, 2014, I have concocted a ruse to get me out and about without the concomitant guilt. I will attempt to walk to every trig point in the Peak District National Park and surrounding areas. Don’t ask me how many there are, I have no idea, but if you do know then please get in touch. Whilst doing this I can also get fitter, I need that for sure, practice my navigation, feature spotting and route planning for my Mountain Leadership training, and learn a lot more about the Peak District especially areas I have never visited. It will also be enjoyable.
So here are the rules:
1. The trig points must be in the Peak District National Park
2. There must be a least three trig points on a route. Three is the minimum number for triangulation, but you already knew that.
3. A photo of the pillar and the benchmark plate must be taken, even if I am being chased by a cow, or wallaby.
4. All trig points must have been visited by the end of the year!
That’s it, pretty simple.
My first day out was on Thursday 16th January. A simple walk almost from my front door, taking in four trig points with a total of twenty kilometers of walking and five hundred and seventy meters of total ascent. The route would cross common lands, industrial relics, old track ways and turnpikes, grouse moorland, Victorian engineering works and the home of British Climbing. Not bad for a day’s walking.
Trig pillar number 1
(Loxley Common Triangulation Pillar SK 30969 90690 Altitude 239m. Benchmark plate number 11505)
The pillar stands amidst old quarry workings and gannister mines. The quarrying was for Derbyshire Gritstone to build walls and buildings. Gannister mines produced “Ganni” a clay like substance used in the manufacture of furnace linings for the steel and glass industry that surrounded Sheffield.
Setting south from this trig, via a series of old Gannister factories and villages now quiet but once were thriving industrial mining centres, decanted me on to the old Sheffield to Manchester Road, long forgotten and abandoned in places for the Snake Road that runs along the valley floor.
From this road a track runs to the right up onto the high moorland above Sheffield. Leaving the track and heading for the corner of a private cemetery, I never knew such a thing existed, I came to the second trig point on Rod Moor.
This trig point is clearly not so frequented as others, despite a very well made shooting track taking you to within a hundred meters or so. I have to admit though that the trig is a rather secondary attraction. The main being a large sign telling you to keep out of the walled cemetery on pain of prosecution for trespass. Peering over the wall the prospective trespasser can see a tantalising glimpse of old tombs, stacked grave stones and what appears to be a crematoria. All very Hammer House of Horror. Why all this is out here on the moorland away from any major community remains to be explored. Just to add to the weirdness, three white albino peacocks appeared from nowhere, a common site on any Peak District moorland!
Onwards towards the south and heading for the mecca of Stanage Edge and High Neb trig point. It’s a nice walk up through woodland and moorland on to the high tops. My route followed the water conduit built by Victorian engineers to bring water to Sheffield. The conduit fed the Redmires reservoirs to the east. Dressed stone, beautifully detailed by craftsmen line the water coarse route and a small house like structure stands alone against the skyline.
The little house makes a great bivvy spot and seems to have been used as such. It even has a fire place for added cosiness.
Heading south I followed the coarse of the river upwards to reach High Neb trig point. A good spot for navigation practice. I calculated that my attack point was seven hundred meters away on a set bearing. This would lead me to a bend in the stream from where I could gain the trig point. Using the stream as a handrail I arrived at the attack point having paced the distance out over the rough moorland. I was just five paces short which pleased me no end.
Trig pillar number 3
(High Neb Triangulation Pillar SK 2281 8534 458m. Benchmark S2157)
High Neb trig point sits right on the edge of Stanage in the center of a well worn path and with great views north, south, east and west.
The views from this vantage point are magnificent. Mam Tor, The great Ridge and Kinder Scout lay to the south west. Bleaklow and the Alport Valley fill the north west skyline, whilst Derwent and Howden edges run north. Below to the south and east lay the great grit stone edges famous to millions of climbers around the world. Pick a sunny day and theses edges are festooned with orange and red dots, the helmets of aspirant Don Whillans and Joe Browns. The names of the climbs conjour up emotions, Quietus, Right Unconquerable, Goliaths Groove, Chip Shop Brawl to name but a few on Stanage. You are stood on the balcony of climbing history and what better view could you have.
Head east along the edge and you come to The Long Causeway a ancient Pack Horse route for the transportation of grit stone mill wheels and salt to name but a few commodities. It has recently been the centre of some controversy, as it is legally a road and this means that any vehicle can travel along it. The four wheel drive brigade have done just that and ripped it apart. Where once there were beautiful stone sets paving the entire length, now there remains huge gouges, crumbling retaining walls and flooded mud baths. It is a crime and the only people responsible are the irresponsible four wheel drive and trial bike users, who have had no regard for this historical right of way, and only wanted self centred pleasure. Thankfully the Peak District Authority have acted and obtained a closure to all mechanical vehicles. Lets hope that it stays that way forever and hopefully the four by fours will be content with running the shopping to and from from Tesco’s.
The Long Causeway on Stanage Edge. History ripped apart by the pleasure seekers.
If you carry on along the edge you eventually come to a strange pole. This is Stanage Pole and the final trig point. Yes it is a trig point as marked on the 1:25000 OS map. Did you know that. Not all trig points are pillars.