Dean Scout, Cliviger Valley

© Craven & Pendle Geological Society

Thieveley Scout (Cliviger fault scarp)

Thieveley Scout

The area around Thieveley Scout by Thieveley Farm was a popular Victorian Picnic site in the 1920's. The climb up to the Scout is an interesting one via "Jacob's Ladder" - a series of well known steps cut. The route passes by Holme Hall, the local residence of the Whitaker Family. Dr. Whitaker was a local celebrated historian. The final climb up to Thieveley Farm rewards you with a wonderful view of the Burnley / Pendle countryside and of course the Cliviger Valley. The farm itself was demolished in 1976.

The knoll behind the farm ruins is called Dean Scout. The notable rock formation outcropping on the Scout is Beacon Rock. It is here that shafts of the Thieveley Lead Mine were situated. The Lead Mine has a particularly interesting history. It was indeed work unsuccessfully for King Charles I from 1629 - 1635, and again by a private company in 1754.

A good place to begin any visit to Thieveley is the Ram Inn on the A646.

Holme Hall to Thieveley Farm

View from the neaby Ram Inn to Beacon Rock

From the main Burnley to Todmorden road near the Ram Inn, there is a stile leading onto the large field commonly used for the Cliviger Show. Follow the footpath across the field to towards Buckley's house (centered in the photo).  This is the route that the Whitaker's of Holme Hall used to gain access to the railway. This route takes you to the site Thieveley Farm which was also a well know picnic spot from Victorian times until the 1920's.  You can just make out Beacon Rock on Dean Scout at the top of the photograph.

There are a number of highlights to this walk:
1.  The subway beneath the railway embankment created for the Whitaker's of Holme Hall
2.  Whitaker's private footbridge to the Railway Station.
3.  The climb of the Catsteps: in total called Jacob's Ladder
4.  Dodbottom Clough
5.  Site of Thieveley Farm

Recommended Reading:
Taking the Car for a Walk No.2 The South Pennines by Titus Thornber.

Dean Scout towards Todmorden

Looking into Cliviger Valley from Dean Scout.  The road in the middle of the picture roughly marks the line of the Cliviger Valley Fault. Coal Measure rocks are exposed on the left of the road whilst Namurian rocks outcrop to the right.

View along Cliviger Valley (ESE)

Glacial meltwater flowed down the valley from Burnley towards Wakefield thus leaving the streams hanging. Crossing of Dean marks the watershed where the Yorkshire and Lancashire Calder Rivers rise.

Though shrouded in history you cannot fail to notice the Windmills that are capable of generating enough electricity to power all the houses in the Cliviger Valley.

Galena (lead ore) was first discovered by Godfrey Mercer in 1626. Subsequently a great deal of mining activity took place over several phases. One such phase of activity took place near Thieveley Farm. The time period between 1768 - 1775 was the last phase of activity and the bell pits in the photograph are testimony to this. There is a great deal of evidence for lead mining around the Thieveley Farm and in the valley bottom, particularly near the fishponds. It is here that the lead was thought to have been smelted at Furnace Dam before being removed by packhorse. Diligent searching of the spoil heap should reap its reward.

Locally produced lead

As to the origin of the lead ore mineralisation, it was probably derived from low temperature hypersaline brines. At the top of the hill lies Beacon Rock, an outcrop of Woodhead Hill Rock sandstone (the first Coal Measure sandstone) that shows excellent sets of trough cross-bedding.

Woodhead Hill Rock (Beacon Rock)
Grid Reference [SD 872 274]

Yvonne pointing out the trough cross-bedding.

Beacon Rock on Dean Scout, is a spectacular outcrop of the Woodhead Hill Rock and forms the summit of Thieveley Scout. It is a Lower Coal Measures coarse current bedded sandstone that can also be seen outcropping in Pudsey Clough. The term "Beacon Rock" is only a courtesy title as the true site of the warning beacon - which was lit during a national emergency - was at Thieveley Pike, the highest point of the moor.

The Bassy Mine, situated on top of the Woodhead Hill Rock, outcrops across from Dean Scout at Grid Reference. [SD 873 275]. The thickness of the mine is roughly 35 centimeters.

Pack Horse Ginnel

Two ancient stone-posts guard the entrance to one of Cliviger Valleys archeological highlights - the Pack Horse Ginnel.  It has been restored by the Employment Training team of dry-stone wallers back to its original condition.

This was the route that the pack horses took when removing lead ore from Thieveley.  Also, it was the route that was taken to export iron-pigs and Cliviger Pottery on to South Lancashire.  There are many interesting things to see in the Fish Ponds Wood area one of which is the presumed site of the 1632 lead-smelting mill that was used for processing the ore from Thieveley Lead Mine.  This was thought to have been a charcoal burning blast furnace built by a partnership of Sheffield ironmasters to produce pig-iron from iron ore mined at Riddle Scout in Cliviger Dean.  A waterwheel was thought to have driven the bellows.

Yvonne recommending Titus Thornbers books

Recommended Reading:
Taking the Car for a Walk No.2 The South Pennines by Titus Thornber