The past few days have been stormy, therefore the sunny cloudless sky of today was not to be wasted, I thought, as I yanked out the bike and set off through Deane. A bumpy road through Lostock put me on Chorley New Road, and I soon reached Horwich, from where I entered Lever Park. I intended making for the ruined castle, but workmen were busy on it, so I rolled towards Hall Barn. Just near Rivington village, I turned towards Great House. In the enclosures are many foreign animals, kept by Lord Leverhulme. I saw some Indian cattle, Deer, Llamas, and an Emu. I then joined the road that leads over the moors to Belmont. This involved a deal of tramping, but the sunlit ridges and scars seemed to give the moors a wonderful colouring. I spent some time over the ascent, to the summit at 1,062ft, then came tumbling down through a kind of pass that winds between and round various hillocks and barren ridges, to the small reservoir, from where Belmont village was soon reached.
Cutting across the road, I rode through a croft, climbing once more to the moors. This stony road took many a sharp dip into some rugged defile, climbing steeply out again, before it landed me on Blackburn road. A few yards of this was enough, for I turned right at the Green’s Arms, and joined a good road over the moors at the side of Whitehall Lake. In a few minutes I stood above Turton, with the valley below and the broad hillside, with Edgeworth and climbing, winding roads before me. Dropping downhill, I came at length to Bolton road, and followed this highway to Bromley Cross. From the Royal Oak I followed the tramcar lines to Moorfield, where I bethought myself of Hall i’ th’ Wood. This fine timbered mansion is the house in which Samuel Crompton invented the spinning mule, and has been restored by Bolton Corporation, and is now a museum. I entered the rambling building and proceeded to look round.
There are some wonderfully plastered ceilings, old furniture, huge, old fashioned fireplaces with innumerable gadgets and massive pans. The walls of some rooms were panelled, and ancient paintings were numerous. It was 4pm when I entered, and rapidly growing dusk, so I had to skip through pretty quickly. I will make another visit in the near future, when there will be more time to look around. 30 miles