About this blog

Just having a bit of fun here, posting about walks and other stuff. I need to get out more.

Sunday, 6 March 2011


Conscious that the TGO Challenge is looming, I decided it was about time to get out of the house and start putting in a few miles and make a futile attempt to be fit for the start of the Challenge on 13th May.
So, with that in mind I was up early yesterday to do a local walk taking in all four of the Wentworth Follies.

The Wentworth Follies are; Hoober Stand, The Needles Eye, Kepple's Column and Rockingham Mausoleum.

The Monuments, or "follies" are situated in the locality of the village of Wentworth and were all built during the 18th century on the orders of Charles Watson-Wentworth the 2nd Marquis of Rockingham and twice Prime Minister of England, and his father, Thomas Watson-Wentworth, 1st Marquis of Rockingham, formerly Earl of Malton.

Detailed info can be found here...The Wentworth Follies

It was spotting with rain when I left the house but the weather forecaster promised better as the day progressed.

Just a few hundred yards from my house is the Waterloo kiln which is all that remains on the site of the famous Rockingham Pottery which operated from here for about 100 years from the mid 18th century onwards.

More reading here...The History of Rockingham Pottery

Waterloo Kiln

Waterloo Kiln and Pottery Pond
From here it's just a short walk to Wath Wood where the remnants of "The Roman Ridge" are still intact. The history of this Rig Bank is unclear but it is thought to predate the Roman period and was probably built as a boundary line around 2000 years ago.
Link The Roman Ridge

Walking along the Roman Ridge in Wath Wood

Once through the wood it is about two miles along lanes and paths to the first Folly, Hoober Stand.
Normally Hoober Stand can be seen for miles around and is the most prominent of the local land marks in South Yorkshire, not yesterday however as the weather had deteriorated to steady drizzle and I did not get sight of it until I was about 100 yards from it.

Hoober Stand emerges from the gloom.

Hoober Stand close up.

Wall plaque

It's less than a mile from here to the next Folly, The Needle's Eye which, local fable has it was built as a bet by the 2nd Marquis of Rockingham that he could drive a coach and horses through the eye of a needle.

The Needle's Eye
The Needle's Eye
Backtracking slightly, I walked down the road into the village of Wentworth where I then entered the grounds of Wentworth Park and the once magnificent Wentworth Woodhouse which was home to the Fitzwilliam family. The mansion is now privately owned and stands empty and seemingly falling into an irretrievable state of dis-repair.

Wentworth Woodhouse

The East Front

Continuing through the park I came across the Wentworth deer herd who were taking shelter from the worsening weather under the trees watched over by an attentive stag

Deer in the park

The next stretch was, in a word...miserable. From the fishing ponds at the bottom of the park the route then goes over fields using a muddy path for about a mile and a half. I passed The Penistone Ramblers going in the opposite direction and from the look on their faces they appeared to be enjoying themselves even less than me. A nice collection of bushy grey beards though!
Once over the quagmire there was some nice woodland which climbs steadily to Folly number 3...Kepples Column.

Approaching Kepple's Column

Kepples Column close up
The persistent drizzle had stopped now...it was pissing it down! so I didn't hang around for long and headed back to the fishing ponds feeling sorry for myself.

From the ponds I picked up a vague path to final Folly of the day.. The Mausoleum

The Mausoleum
This is apparently open to the public during summer months and I may return on a dry day to have a closer look.

I had had enough by now though and got my head down for the final 3 miles or so back to my house and a welcome hot bath.

Points noted from yesterday's walk.
  • I will not be fit for the TGO Challenge on 13th May. I will get fit on the walk as usual.
  • I will maintain a good level of fitness through June and will then gradually degenerate into a physical wreck for the next 11 months.
  • Walking in the rain for 5 hours is not much fun!
  • South Yorkshire has some interesting buildings and nice countryside...best saved for a sunny day.
  • The weather forecasters don't know what they are talking about.
Once dried out, I headed off to Leeds to see Frank Turner play a "secret" gig in a pub. He played this song which sums up how I felt at times during the walk yesterday.

"I lied about being the outdoor type"


  1. That just about sums up my preparation every year too Dave.

    Hope the bath was nice!

  2. hi Dave,
    What a stunning place and so close to Rotherham.
    It's not a place i have been to but it might go on the list of places to visit this year.

  3. That house/hall/mansion must take some heating! It looks like a great walk round the folly's, an area I don't know at all.

  4. A lovely area for a walk, quite close to me in Doncaster. The weather has been awful for the last six weeks or so, but I've been getting out in the Peak District. I don't know what the TGO Challenge is [I'll have to google it], but I hope you managed to successfully complete it.

  5. When I was a young lad, I walked with my Gran. from Wentworth to Doncaster under an arch and onto the Woodhouse private coach road to Doncaster. Does the arch still exist? for that matter is the coach road still there?