Trail unlocks history of Pennine valley

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A TRAIL tracing the story of the heritage of a Pennine community through its rocks has opened.

The Penistone Hill Geology Trail, a short walk from Haworth Parish Church, details the history of the area from the ancient formation of rocks to the men who quarried and mined the land.

Written by Alison Tymon, who chairs the West Yorkshire Geology Trust, and Steve Wood, a local historian, a booklet guides people around the two-and-a-half mile trail taking in two quarries, various geological features and four sculptures by Stevan Tica.

He said: “The sculptures have been carved from Yorkshire stone and are used as markers along the trail. The first is of a fossilised tree stump, with a few leaves and a dragonfly to represent the material that decomposed to form coal over millions of years.

“The more recent history can be seen in a relief carving of a horse gin, a mechanical device used by miners to bring buckets up the mine shaft to the surface. This is the biggest sculpture, weighing about a tonne.”

Alison Tymon said quarries were important to the area.

“There’s lots of evidence of mining and quarrying, which links us to our industrial heritage,” she said.

“But it’s more than that – these quarries provided all the stone for the mills and dwellings in the Upper Worth valleys.

“People have always been interested in the heritage of the mills but not so much the mines and quarries that helped to build them. Now that is changing.”

The 20-page booklet is available from visitor centres in Haworth and Hebden Bridge and costs £2.

The project has been funded through the Watershed Landscape Project – backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the South Pennines Leader programme which is jointly funded by Defra and the EU – and has been developed with Bradford Council.