Bordering two towns,
fallen between two stools, there survives a place where time has stopped still - a hidden valley - with a head full of millstone grit and a belly gouged by ancient glaciers.
The whole axis from north to south is a geocronograph- a gouged gantt of 300 years of human activity- embattled by iron rings, fire pits and brimstone stoves, of billy’s, teasers and blueing houses.
The journey to it is hampered by a palisade of ridges, whilst the old pack horse tracks are given mythical undertones by oddly balanced stones on gnarled and fissured fence posts.
Half way down the timeline, where Washwheel rises- the great smoke, looming over the wildwood - is an anchor point for the eye.
Its gaping crown of brick was a last-ditch chance to stop the choking downdraught on millpond days.
Here the valley is so dark, the canopy so great that the tree moss is thick enough for ferns to grow.
Beneath the shade of the chimney and the wonky voussoirs of the bridge, the brook, swollen with fallen parapets is littered with treasures unknown.
Chamfered returns on squared off stone and terracotta stoppers for bleach gorged vessels long gone.
Great pipes that once straddled the brook, hug the banks like abandoned Amazonian canoes; whilst crumbling earthworks reveal an epic shaping of the land to harness its power.
There’s something reminiscent here of the great civilisations that lie beneath the turf and sand - lost in memory by the surge of the new, the tides of time, the haste of mankind.