Langsett, Midhope Moor and Reservoir

History For Walkers, Birdwatchers and Cyclists

Previously known as Penisale, Langsett first appears in a charter of 1252 which tells of an agreement, whereby Walter de Houdham granted his whole manor at ‘Langside’ to Elias de Midhope now an area named Upper Midhope. It held a weekly market on a Tuesday until this was transferred to near-by Penistone.
Langsett reservoir was built between 1889 and 1905. It is around a mile long and supplies water to Sheffield and Barnsley.

Langsett Reservoir

Bird Watching Langsett Reservoir and Moor

The habitat like many Pennine reservoirs is surrounded by conifer plantations. There is extensive open heather moorland to the southwest which can be seen from the Low Moor view point.
For timing the autumn is good for Red Grouse and birds of prey. Spring and summer show most of the breeding species.
Species include a large range of ducks, Teals, Mallards and Tufted Ducks. Owls and wood peckers can often be seen and the fringes of the fields and moors have breeding meadow Pipits, Ouzels and occasional Twites.
Access from the village via a minor road sign posted Strines & Derwent valley which passes over the reservoir dam where you can watch the reservoir birds. Then move on through Upper Midhope, turn sharp right and park near a sign Privilege Footpath for Low Moor and views of the moors and paths through the woods.

Moorland Grouse

The Local Inn and Cafe

The yearly visit from Thurlston Brass Band to the Waggon and Horses takes place in June – (24th June 2012 from 12 until 5.)
Langsett independent film festival has been bringing people together for over 17 years to show and enjoy films at the inn.
The Waggon and Horses Inn is the watering hole of choice for walkers, birdwatchers, cyclists and local beer drinkers.
Langsett cafe has won cyclist cafe of the year chosen by local CTC members. ‘It serves good food at a very reasonable price and is very cyclist friendly.’


I like the vision of created by the Guardian ‘Gazing across the broad acres of Langsett Moor and the Thurlstone Moors towards the formerly “forbidden” Snailsden Moor at the head of the Holme Valley I was reminded of the words of Halliwell Sutcliffe (1870-1932). Though perhaps remembered best as a creator of historical romances, this son of the West Riding was a pioneer thinker on open access to the high country, for so long reserved exclusively for grouse shooting. He highlighted in A Benedick in Arcady the rules to be followed, tongue-in-cheek, by the “Complete Trespasser”. read the full article from a Country diary.

Photo and Other Credits
Langsett Reservoir by sheffieldhammer CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Moorland Grouse by timdifford ‘Photographs taken on a family stroll around Langsett Reservoir’ CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
IMG_0835 by CC BY-SA 2.0 A ‘look at The Haunted House on a Hill overlooking Penistone and Holmfirth then onto Langsett Bank Woods Moor, and reservoir Sheffield’

Yorkshires top Twelve Birdwatching Sites

Walk 1 around the reservoir and history
Yorkshire Water Langsett, Midhope Moor and Reservoir Walking.
Share my Routes

Trig Points Around the Ridings

trig sign

Trigpoints are the common name for “triangulation pillars” the UK mapping and triangulation system before GPS and Google Earth. There is a great Trigpoint website with map references pictures and search facilities. ‘These are concrete pillars, about 4’ tall, which were used by the Ordnance Survey in order to determine the exact shape of the country. They are generally located on the highest bit of ground in the area, so that there is a direct line of sight from one to the next. By sitting a theodolite (an accurate compass built into a telescope) on the top of the pillar, accurate bearings to nearby trigpoints could be taken. This process is called “triangulation”.

A major project to map out the shape of Great Britain began in 1936. The network of triangulation pillars, with accurately known positions, led to the excellent OS maps which we enjoy today. The coordinate system used on these maps is known as the “National Grid”, and it is essential that you are familiar with this system if you are to get the most of OS maps, or this website. ‘

Continue reading Trig Points Around the Ridings

Halloween In Haworth

My simple advice would be don’t do it, parking in Haworth that is, unless you are prepared for the clampers. I had heard many apocryphal tales about the private car park at the top of main street in Haworth where they obsessively look for cars not parked straight or ones that over stay be one minute. Even Christa Ackroyd has commented on the parsimonious way the owner treats visitors to Haworth.
Having just ‘parked myself for a cuppa and butty’ in the excellent Apothecary Tea Rooms I saw the sign warning tea drinkers to drink up and check their car or risk a £75 clamp or worse. Knowing I had parked at the bottom of the Cobbles in a council car park I was less worried except I had been unable to pay in either of the broken and vandalised parking machine. The signs told me numerous time to pay on entry but I would look like these former parkers if I had waited to get a ticket.

It was Halloween weekend and the whole of Haworth had made an effort to join in the spirit with spirit. Eight foot dragons roamed the cobbled street and the wicca influence was wicked. The town is ideal for this sort of festivity and a walk around the church grave yard crammed with Gothic grave stones was spooky.

That Betty Boo is really frightening

On Yer Bike to Farndale Daffodil Valley

Farndale, aka ‘Daffodil Valley’ by virtue of the ‘Lenten Lilies’ which carpet the valley floor in a sea of yellow each spring. The Daffodils, Narcissus pseudonarcissus, were probably brought to the valley and Douthwaitedale by 12th century Monks and got the old name Lenten Lily from the fact they normally bloom around Easter, a little later than most British Daffodils. If you are not worried by crowds then a weekend trip at the end of March or April will repay your perseverance. Because of the cold weather this year you may find a warmer and quieter time to visit will be mid-week mid-to late April.

Walking The Dove and Farndale

If you are not on your bike ‘Walking world’ has a range of interesting walks including Church houses in Farndale on this site. Wikipedia’s entry for Farndale must have been written by a southerner who dislikes moorland as ‘Farndale is surrounded by some of the most inhospitable moorland in England, and is sandwiched between Bransdale and Rosedale. …… Around the north of Farndale, is the track bed of the old Rosedale Ironstone Railway which forms part of two Long Distance Footpaths these being Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk and The Lyke Wake Walk’. Well they are right about walking so forgive and forget. There are many fine walks along the banks of the river Dove starting at the small hamlet of Low Mill where a nearby field is used to accommodate the hundreds of cars which arrive during the daffodil season.

Tea Rooms and Refreshments

Refreshments are available at the Daffy Caffy at High Mill and the Feversham Arms Inn at Church Houses. The “Daffy Caffy” cafe tearoom is situated on the well known daffodil walk in beautiful Farndale, North Yorkshire, England. The scenery and walking is quite magnificent, whether it be along the river or climbing up to Rudland Rigg on the North York Moors. In the hamlet of Church Houses, Farndale, the Feversham Arms ‘serves good food and beer for the passing walker’. Just up the road is St Mary’s Church a small moors village church built in 1831 and well worth a visit even when the Daffodils have gone.

Other Village Activities

Alt country bands, renown folk singers and even Yorkshire Countrywomens Associations use the Band Room in Farndale variously described as ‘England’s tiniest major venue,’ ‘The greatest small venue on Earth,’ and ‘a corrugated iron shed in the middle of nowhere.’ There is a big gig no 29th August 2010 the night before the 103rd Farndale Show staring Megafaun ( I will say that a bit louder). Built for the Farndale Silver Band in the 1920s this 100-capacity wooden building adds atmosphere to most performances if you can get a ticket.
Picking Daffodils is not an activity that can be pursued as Farndale is now a protected Nature Reserve. Leave the flowers for others to see and the seeds to reproduce naturally.

Conisbrough Village and Ivanhoe Castle


Conisbrough near Doncaster was the setting for Sir Walter Scotts ‘Ivanhoe’. Using the Castle as the basis for a Saxon stronghold during the reign of Richard 1st the tale about chivalry and knighthood daring-do led too a TV series in the 1960’s.  The castle is not the oldest part of Conisbrough as St Peters Church is the oldest building in South Yorkshire dating from AD 650-700. At the time of the Norman conquest the manor was held by King Harold and consisted of the church and 28 vills or villages. In the 16th century the castle suffered neglect and eventually became a ruin. In 1990 the Conisborough castle was floodlit and became a tourist attraction.

Conisbrough was one of the important royal manors of Yorkshire. Its Court Rolls provide us with a unique account of the working lives and relationships of its inhabitants. The Rolls survive in large measure across eight centuries. This project aims to show what can be done with such remarkable documents. Through it, you can discover the historic workings of a manor and learn more about Conisbrough and how its past has contributed to its present.

Conisborough In 20th Century

Coal mining started in 1867 at Denaby and was the deepest mine at the time. Soon Cadeby started just across the river then in 1912 a terrific explosion cost the lives of 35 miners followed by a further 40 fatalities amongst the rescue party in a second explosion. The colliery closed in 1986

Kilner Bros were based at Providence Glass Works  where they made the famous Kilner jars and bottles until 1938

ICI had a Powder Works at Denaby making detonators until 1963

In the mid-1990s, a new tourist attraction, Earth Centre, opened on the nearby site of the former Cadeby Main Colliery; it closed in 2005.

Cycling is popular around the area and routes include this Conisbrough cycle route.

Photo credits
conisborough_castle_05 by becky fryer CC BY 2.0
Untitled by steve p2008 CC BY 2.0