Black Hill, Peak District
The Pennine Way on the summit of Black Hill
|Summit:|| 1,909 feet SE07820469 |
Black Hill is a hill in the Peak District, on the border of Cheshire and the West Riding of Yorkshire. It rises up to the north of the Heyden Moor in the westernmost part of Cheshire to climb to a summit at reaching 1,909 feet above sea level. The summit, on the county border, is the highest point in Cheshire, the county top.
Tooleyshaw Moss and the Holme Moss spread out to the south and south-east, while Saddleworth Moor is to the west. The closest village is Holme in Yorkshire to the east, while Crowden and Tintwistle in Cheshire lie to the south.
The hilltop is peaty and thus very boggy after rain. Until recently, the area surrounding the summit itself had virtually no vegetation and was very dark, giving the hill an appropriate name, but recent work by the Peak District National Park Authority has eliminated much of the exposed peat. They have also paved the path to the top on the track of the Pennine Way, which had been much worn by countless walkers, which places an incongruous artificiality to this part of a wild natural landscape.
The Pennine Way crosses the summit, the surface repared and paved so that walkers may reach the top dry-shod.
The hill can be visited by a number of routes, including along the Pennine Way from Crowden by way of the Laddow Rocks cliffs; bogs permitting, a return can be made over Westend Moss (the route of the Pennine Way before 1966) to create a pleasant circular walk.
Another popular approach is from the junction of the A635 and the Wessenden Head Road (to Meltham), known locally as the 'Isle of Skye' after a former hotel and usually the site of a tea van at weekends. This provides access to a paved section of the Pennine Way southwards to Black Hill. Black Hill can also be reached easily from Holme Moss over access land, but this route requires the use of map reading and possible a compass as although the ground is level it becomes trackless and confusing in places.
The trig point and highest point on Black Hill is on a small elevated mound, called Soldiers' Lump. According to Wainwright the support timbers for the Ramsden theodolite, used by the Royal Engineers in the original Ordnance Survey which began in 1784, were still to be found here many years later.
- Wainwright, A. Pennine Way Companion ISBN 0-7112-2235-5 p.157