Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England



I reckon it must be the best part of three decades since I last climbed to the top of this hill, I was no older than the young couple ahead of me.

Folly and young couple 

But with a canceled appointment, a couple of hours to kill before the next and a very definite need for a breath of fresh air, off I went, (the undulating ground is the result of lime burning in the 17th and 18th century.)

Well if it was fresh air I wanted there was plenty of it, it was wild; at the top of the folly I could barley stand, so it seemed wise not to linger, inside the folly wind was howling and whistling up the spiral staircase, not the brightest of days, but here’s the view looking down towards the town of Buxton

View to town

The large blob of a building is the Buxton Mineral Water bottling plant, how did that get past the town planners? it sticks out like a sore thumb, ugly and most definitely not in keeping with the roof lines and building materials of the rest of the town. This is the view from the other side, towards the open moors and from where the wind was whistling in

View to moors

Coming off the top it was more sheltered, and I came across some farmers working on a dry stone wall, we had a chat and they kindly offered me a cup of tea from their flask, I declined as  it seemed like they might need all the warm tea they could get!


There was a lot of work to be done;

Wall, before


Not only does it look good, the finished wall does the job and will  last more than the next three decades, till I’m passing that way again.

Wall after

An edit following on from Sarah’s comment, this postcard came from the depths of my mums sideboard as did other images,  it was posted on 19th August 1933


it reads

Dear J

Did not get to Cleveleys after all, so now staying at the ‘Bedford’ for a few days, We are thoroughly  enjoying Buxton, Mrs Hammond is meeting me tonight and we are going to see Edward Dunn, a favorite.


May be they went here to watch the film,



Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

11 thoughts on “Folly

  1. Hi UHDD
    We climbed the folly on our visit to buxton last september, an exhilirating walk! we had visited the cavern first, really enjoyed it, and like you took photos, on the way down our son rang to tell us he had split from his girlfriend (again!) so was trying to console him (again!) my husband slipped on to his bottom! narrowly missing a cowpat!I was laughing at rob, Mark thought i was laughing at him!, eventful walk! but very pleasant, as is The peak District
    take care

  2. If that was Ruralshire, they would be Pikeys stealing the stone not farmers! Seriously! It’s a huge problem here with stone. Great photos. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Coping stones, the shaped stones that go on top of dry stone walls and hold the whole thing together, do get nicked, then the whole lot comes tumbling down; in our ‘hamlet’ we all have a keen eye for sources of specific, pinky red grit stone that came out of small quarry nearby,that probably hasn’t been worked for about 150 years, it would be bought or asked for, never stolen, but we all value it because if you want to make any alterations to your property its the only way to get a good match. Oh and roof ‘slates’ which are in fact slabs of stone, not usually stripped/ stolen from a building but if the have been taken off for repairs to be done to the timbers they are very likely to be stolen
    Joan that sounds like an eventful walk!

  4. Hi, I just found your blog recently and I love it! I grew up in York and the photos take me back to many happy weekend hikes in the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales. I once spent a week dry stone walling near Stoke, and had a fantastic time. It’s like a gigantic 3D jigsaw puzzle. As a bonus, we pulled out an old glass bottle with the names of the wall’s original builders inside. It was over 150 years old. We put it back into the finished wall, along with a second piece of paper with all our names on it. I’d like to go back and visit “my” wall some time!

  5. Those images are extraordinarily – hm. Evocative? Atmospheric? They make me want to write a story!

  6. Hi VWXYNot? thank for commenting, we’ve found bottles (and broken pots) in walls too, I can imagine you would take on ‘ownership’ if you built a dry stone wall. I’m told the knack is to only pick up any stone once,to only place it in the wall, I suppose that’s the skill to see what fits where, good spacial awareness, (if that’s the case there are probably a disproportionate number of dyslexic drystone wallers!)
    Gerry, well get on with it then, a short story will do say, 2000 words!!! 🙂

  7. I’ve been up there. We took a photo of me stood in the doorway to send to my mum, to match the one she has of my grandmother taken way back when, probably around 1920, when she was still a girl in knee length skirts.

  8. Definitely something special about those dry stone-walls. Who wants to live in a city!

  9. It was a dark and stormy night . . .

  10. Gerry, I think that story has got potential!

    Sarah, I’ve edited the post to include a postcard from the 1930’s

  11. Pingback: Take Five « Uphilldowndale

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