Ju­bilee tower also marks vic­tory for lo­cal peo­ple

Stockport Times West - - STOCKPORT RAMBLERS - DOUG DAVIES

PUB­LIC­ITY is vi­tal to es­tab­lish your ver­sion of the truth. Some peo­ple know that – as we found out on a re­cent walk by Stock­port Ram­blers led by Ross Mackie.

It started from Sun­ny­hurst car park in Dar­wen. A large num­ber of walk­ers set out through Sun­ny­hurst Wood head­ing to­wards Abbey Vil­lage in over­cast but, thank­fully, dry con­di­tions which lasted all day.

We passed the pic­turesque Rod­dlesworth Reser­voirs with more pretty woods be­fore mak­ing our way for lunch to Hollinshead Hall, a ru­ined manor house dat­ing back to the 13th cen­tury.

The manor had many own­ers from a num­ber of prom­i­nent fam­i­lies in­clud­ing at one point King Charles 1st but the present ex­ten­sive ru­ins are merely of a re­place­ment struc­ture dat­ing from the 18th cen­tury.

The walk then crossed over Dar­wen Moor with its typ­i­cal South Lan­cashire moor­land scenery even­tu­ally com­ing in sight of the well-known Ju­bilee Tower sit­u­ated on Dar­wen Hill over­look­ing the town be­low.

The tower is widely known to cel­e­brate the Di­a­mond Ju­bilee of Queen Vic­to­ria and was com­pleted in 1898 but it had a sec­ond less-ac­knowl­edged pur­pose, namely, to mark a vic­tory for lo­cal peo­ple for the right of free ac­cess to the moors.

The landowner had blocked the right of way over his land and a strug­gle en­sued with his game­keep­ers and lo­cal peo­ple, which ended up in court be­fore the free­dom to walk on the moors was es­tab­lished.

You may think you recog­nise the story – it is vir­tu­ally iden­ti­cal to that of the Hay­field mass tres­pass which oc­curred some 40 years later – but the leader of that es­capade is now largely re­garded as the per­son who es­tab­lished the right to free­dom of ac­cess.

He ob­vi­ously re­alised pub­lic­ity was vi­tal to es­tab­lish his ver­sion of the truth and played it up for all he was worth.

Stock­port Ram­blers cross Dar­wen Moor

Stock­port Ram­blers ex­plore the area around Dar­wen’ss Ju­bilee Tower sit­u­ated on Dar­wen Hill

A stream run­ning through woods near Rod­dlesworth Reser­voir

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