Saturday, 12 September 2015

Valley of Stone

Well, I hadn't intended to leave a gap of almost two weeks before my next post. With the return to work, I haven't felt like being in front of the computer in the evenings and have been making the most of the last of the evening light to walk around the village. I can't believe it's dark at 8 o'clock now - the nights are drawing in so quickly.

Anyway, today I'm taking you back to August. Before the Scavenger Hunt, I'd left you in Ramsbottom where we were just about to head off to see some more of the Irwell Sculpture Trail. After the lush, damp greenery of the morning, our afternoon couldn't have been more different. I had the details of a cluster of three sculptures at Lee Quarry, part of the Valley of Stone. It's a disused quarry which is now used as a mountain biking trail

As you approach up the stony path, you can see the curl of the first sculpture on top of the hill.

Large boulders at the side of the path speak of the site's past.

Almost there but, first, we have to scramble up the last section. It doesn't look steep in the photo but it was. And slippery because of the stone. It was only later that we discovered an easy path on the other side. Sigh.

Looking back down the track. We were parked near the blue building.

And here's the curl you could see in the distance, Frond. It doesn't look like much from this side. But when you walk around... can see the mosaic details.

The artist, Robin Dobson, worked with a local primary school to design the mosaics.

'The sculpture focuses on the area's quarrying heritage and highlights the stunning views around Lee Quarry'.

The views really are stunning.

Moving on, we passed an area with obstacles which are part of the mountain bike trail.

A bleak landscape.

And in the middle of it, Ferroterrosaurus.

Robin worked with mountain bikers to design this sculpture to provide a 'drop-off'. No, I didn't know what one was either. Apparently they can ride on the flat bit and then 'drop off' the other end. There's an interesting booklet on this web site which shows how he developed the ideas and his original artwork.

More of that bleak landscape though it's not without its own beauty.

There was one more sculpture left to find, Echo Fly, which was meant to be in one of the pools. If you look at the web site, you'll see it looks like a series of canoe paddles sticking up out of the water.

We searched high and low but couldn't find it. Later I looked at photos taken by other visitors and noticed that, as time went on, several of the 'paddles' disappeared. Sad to say but I think they've all disappeared now. Well, unless they were hidden in a corner that we missed. Very frustrating.

Very interesting too though. We're enjoying the sculpture trail so much and it's taking us to places we would never have otherwise seen. Actually we've since visited another part and I'll share that with you another time.

Have a great weekend. For us, housework and food shopping today, cinema tomorrow. x


  1. Hey Julie!
    You say you are going to the cinema tomorrow...if you have "A Walk In the Woods" there yet, just want to let you know, I saw it last weekend and it was dreadful, truly it was. Very disappointed!
    I couldn't see all the photos on this post (my computer wouldn't load them for some reason) but I liked the ones that I could see! You have seen my photos of Arabia Mountain which was quarried quite heavily but lovely nature is taking over now! It would be interesting if someone could do a work of art there but no, wait, not a good idea, too many nutcases would mess it up!

  2. I like the name of the sculpture, ferroterrosaurus, seemed very apt xx

  3. Aha my other half went mountsin biking there a few times until he rediscovered road biking. looks a great place for a walk.

  4. This looks an interesting walk but what a shame about the missing ones!!x

  5. Certainly an interesting looking landscape there and some great sculptures too. Another place I'll have to add to the list!