Friday, 2 January 2009

White coal and holloways

We take the car up to Holmesfield Church carpark and walk into the woods. Once a medieval deer park, the earthworks around the wood to keep the deer in are still visible. We go in via a new wide path but rapidly veer off it into the steepling beeches. Hollows where wood was burnt for white coal - used to smelt lead - are still visible. The woods in Totley, here, and in the Cordwell Valley were all a valuable resource for this white coal. Most, apart from this one are now unmanaged and neglected.
We return via Hob Lane - an ancient deep holloway alongside the wood, once part of an important track running south to north.

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