Armed with some MBR route maps and some ideas in my head of linking them together with some Strava intel I had uncovered, I set off to explore Hebden Bridge on Tuesday evening aiming for Stoodley Pike.
Stoodley Pike is a 1,300-foot (400 m) hill in the south Pennines, noted for the 121 feet (37 m) Stoodley Pike Monument at its summit, which dominates the moors above Todmorden in West Yorkshire, England. The monument was designed in 1854 by local architect James Green, and completed in 1856 at the end of the Crimean War.
The monument replaced an earlier structure, started in 1814 and commemorating the defeat of Napoleon and the surrender of Paris. It was completed in 1815, after the Battle of Waterloo, but collapsed in 1854 after an earlier lightning strike, and decades of weathering. Its replacement was therefore built slightly further from the edge of the hill. During repair work in 1889 a lightning conductor was added, and although the tower has since been struck by lightning on numerous occasions, no notable structural damage is evident. There is evidence to suggest that some sort of structure existed on the site even before the earlier structure was built.
After some wrong turns in the town itself I eventually found myself on a rather steep road climb out towards the moors. The road turned to cobbles, farm track and eventually some boggy peat! But it was mostly rideable – even the climb in my 1×10.
The weather wasn’t looking great but I was not going to let a bit of precipitation stand in my way. I took the opportunity to use my brilliant Alpkit Gourdon to keep some spare layers dry. I also packed my lights and some snacks – the pack is great.
Eventually reaching the Pike and Monument I was pleased with myself for getting out rather than sitting in the pub for the evening. The sky was clearing a little too. It was pretty bleak up there s its exposed on all sides to the elements but the monument provides some shelter.
I saw some steps but figured it was blocked off inside so didn’t go in. However I have just discovered that it may have been possible to walk up inside. Be interested to know if this is still open. I don’t feel too disappointed as the views weren’t nearly as good as they are in this video thnks to the weather.
Once sheltered for a short while for a brief snack and drink I took some rather predictable selfies and wide angle shots of the monument before heading off.
We have a similar sized monument here in Cherhill but you cannot go inside or even that close to it anymore as it is much need of some repairs.
The descent from the monument was little treacherous to say the least. The high winds, slippery rocks, unfamiliar obstacles and the fact that I was on my own, meant that I was unusually cautious and opted to miss the first section and zip down the grass. As I got out of the wind and began to find my feet my courage increased and I started to enjoy the technical descent.
Take a look at my Vimeo clip below for a look at the descent…
As you will see from my little video I bumped into some locals and my return journey then took on a new form as they showed me some of the local trails that I hadn’t come across in my research.
They also showed me to a pub which meant that after a few local ales I had an extra long wobble back up to my bed for the night.
I will have to go back to Trouser Town soon…
Oh yeah “Trouser Town”, well…
at one time Hebden was known as “Trouser Town” because of the large amount of clothing manufacturing ~ Wikipedia
And if you want a pair of trousers authentically made in Trouser Town from locally sourced materials, manufactured in traditional methods you should check out HebTroCo