Chipping, Lancashire Sunday 28th September 2014

Today’s Walks

Strenuous Leader: Carole Rankin & Jimmy Need   Distance: approx. 11 miles

From Chipping we walk NW to Foot Fell and then climb Parlick (1417ft) and along the ridge to the cairn at Fair Snape Fell (1673ft) for hopefully amazing views. This is the main climb finished. We then cross the Saddle Fell and descend down to Saddle End Farm. From here we cross fields to Chipping Lawn and back to Chipping via fields, lanes and hopefully the River Hodder, River Loud and Gibbon Bridge for a cuppa or a pint. Could be muddy or soggy underfoot.

Moderate Leader: Dag Griffiths & Dennis Cookson   Distance: 8 miles

The accent is approximately 1500 feet but this mostly comes in the first part of the walk. It is gradual and will be taken at a comfortable pace. The route from Chipping crosses fields to pass Saddle End Farm and climb onto Saddle Fell. A good path to the west takes us over Wolf Fell to the stone shelter at Snape Fell West, one of the greatest viewpoints in England. With the Yorkshire Big Three, the Lake District fells, the Isle of Man, the northern Peak District and much, much more to see in the 360 degree panorama, let’s hope the visibility is good. Lunch will be taken here weather permitting. On our return we can either skirt Parlick or go over the top, depending on the weather – the party could be given the option of doing either route, with Dennis and I leading a group each if necessary – very little difference in distance. Sticks might be useful for the steep descent to Fell Foot. The return to Chipping is via quiet country lanes which are reasonably flat.

Leisurely Leader: Sue Daniels   Distance : 6.5 miles

Apart from near the end of the walk this is flat, and for a change, not too many stiles to go over. From the village we take field paths arriving at the Dog and Partridge pub around lunchtime. Last time we came here for a walk it was awful weather and the pub opened up a room for us and let us eat our lunch there. If the weather is bad, and they have the space there is a good chance that we could do this again. From the pub we follow one of the many ‘Quiet Lanes’ in Lancashire which has a gentle incline up past Black Hall, and with some good views around us as we walk back down to the village.

Easy Leader: Hazel Anderton & Ruth Melling   Distance: 5 miles

A fairly easy flat walk to the east and south of Chipping mainly over grass fields with good views of Longridge Fell and the hills around. On route we skirt Townley Moss Woods and pass through the grounds of the posh Gibbon Bridge Hotel. The downside is that there are quite a few stiles, but only one is a bit awkward.

Notes On The Area

The ancient fell-side market town of Chipping has origins that go back beyond recorded history. It was mentioned in the Doomsday book as Chippenden. It is a village in the Ribble valley within the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It has won a number of Best Kept Village competitions and has won the village section of the Royal Horticultural Society Britain in Bloom award picking up tourist awards in the process.

Chipping acquired its status as a market centre during the Roman period. Wheat, being one of the primary staples of the Roman Army, was first cultivated in the newly cleared Vale of the Loud. This brought an age of prosperity to the district and a trading centre was soon established – with horses, salt, lime, wheat and other grains being the major commodities exchanged. With the demise of Roman influence, the fields fell into decay and only moss-land and the place-name ‘Wheatley’ attest to Chipping’s former ‘Golden Wealth’.

It thrived again in the Industrial Revolution when there were seven mills along Chipping Brook. Kirk Mill became famous for making chairs but sadly went into administration in 2010, an early victim of the recent recession.

There are three pubs in the area, the Sun Inn, the Tillitson’s Arms and the very smart Gibbon Bridge Hotel which would not let Hazel and Ruth in during their reccee.

A church was established in Chipping before 1230, but little is known of the early foundation. For the most part the present fabric of St Bartholomew’s represents the major restoration of 1873, but a few interesting pieces remain from former ages. The oldest of these is the cross base which stands next to a 16th century chest of Belgian origin. The base lost its position and shaft sometime after 1610. The font is by far the church’s finest piece. It dates from 1520, supposedly the gift from Bradley of Bradley Hall whose initials appear on one of the shields. In the churchyard stands a sundial upon stone steps with the date 1708 and the initials of the churchwardens of that time.

Parlick Pike is first mentioned in 1228 as ‘Pirloc’, a name which could have a Scandinavian derivation. Parlick, in the past, has been a rallying point for local Catholics, especially during the Jacobite Rebellions of the 18th century. Tales are told of lights burning on the summit at the very dead of night, where men would set out their plans against the Hanoverians. Today the Pike is a rallying point for hand-gliding enthusiasts who play on the thermals that rise up from the valley below.

Chipping Craft Centre has the honour of being a building used as a shop for the longest time in the UK. These days it has a newsagent’s, a tea shop, craft centre and a part time Post Office. There has been a well-known agricultural and horticultural show here since 1920, and since 1998 Chipping Steam Fair takes place over the Spring Bank holiday.