Trough of Bowland

From Wikishire
Jump to: navigation, search
The Trough of Bowland

The Trough of Bowland is a valley and high pass in the Forest of Bowland, running across the border of the West Riding of Yorkshire with Lancashire.

The Grey Stone of Trough, at the head of the pass, marks the line of the county boundary between Yorkshire to the east and Lancashire to the west, an historically the Trough marked the westernmost boundary of the ancient Lordship of Bowland, which encompassed the whole of the Forest of Bowland properly so called, which is on the Yorkshire side of the hills.

The pass reaches 968 feet above sea level at the head of the valley, and links to Wyresdale, dividing the upland core of Bowland into two main blocks. Though steep and narrow, the road is the most direct connection between Lancaster and Dunsop Bridge (Yorkshire), and hence Clitheroe, beyond the Forest in Lancashire.

The Trough is scenic and popular with visitors, particularly walkers and cyclists. The understood meaning of the Trough of Bowland is the steep upper valley of Losterdale Brook above Trough Barn. However, visitors have applied it to wider areas of Bowland, such as to include the main valleys of Langden Brook and its tributaries, as far as Dunsop Bridge or the moorland and wooded valley of Trough Beck as far as Trough Bridge.

Land usage

The Trough is very sparsely populated: there are only two farms on the Langden side, Sykes and Hareden, and, in Wyresdale, the small community of Marshaw. All feature Grade II listed buildings.

Evidence of past industrial use remains in the form of a disused roadside lime kiln and several quarry scars. Smelt Mill is now the headquarters of the Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue Team.

Water is abstracted from the main streams of the Trough to supply the city of Preston in Lancashire. Water intakes were built at the mouths of Hareden, Losterdale and Langden Brooks in the 1920s, linked by a series of aqueducts to the Alston Reservoirs near Longridge.[1]


The route through the Trough was that taken by the "Pendle witches" to their trial at Lancaster Castle in 1612.[2]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Trough of Bowland)


  1. "Intakes". Mike's Aqueduct Site. Archived from the original on March 28, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2014. 
  2. Marsh, Terry (2008), Walking in the Forest of Bowland and Pendle, Cicerone Press, ISBN 978-1852845155, p.70