Pendle Hill and Barley Vaccary

My son took this shot of me photographing the view over the parish of Barley from Pendle Hill… perhaps as a poke at my header image! 

There is a structure to the fields of Barley parish which was created by the medieval Barley vaccary, established here in the mid-1200s. I have been studying the vaccaries of the Pendle, Accrington, Rossendale and Trawden medieval  forests with David J. A. Taylor for over a decade, supported by the Pendle Heritage Centre archaeology group. The development of the landscape of these areas is quite fascinating and the rural landscapes are a lot older than most people imagine.

We usually walk up to the ‘Big End’ of Pendle Hill from Nick ‘o’ Pendle as this is the longest and highest route. These stone flags across the final stretch were laid in the 1990s, when I was conservation and environment officer at Pendle Council. They were brought in by helicopters and laid upside down to expose their rougher side. Signing off the contracts was one of my first tasks at the Council. The flags, if I remember correctly, were sourced from the streets of Stoneyholme in Burnley, where I had worked the decade before on housing and environmental improvements. So, I had the pleasure of walking on exactly the same flagstones first in Stoneyholme and then 300 metres higher on top of Pendle Hill!

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