Walking the Rivelin Valley – Part Two

Mousehole ForgeStanding and looking at the site of the former Mousehole Forge I was struck by how peaceful it was. These days it’s a private house, but when it was a working forge I suspect the noise would have drowned out the sound from the river.

The site has a long history, but is most famous for producing the Mousehole Anvils that were exported all over the world. Hundreds of these still exist, in fact Keith Kendall’s booklet ‘Walking the Rivelin’ includes a copy of an old press cutting in which it is claimed that the famous anvil at Gretna Green has a Mousehole stamp.

We peeked through the gates at the remains of some of the old forge buildings before heading on along the valley.

We hadn’t gone much further when we met my own personal nemesis: some stepping stones. I don’t know who feels more dismayed to see stepping stones: I cannot seem to cross them without falling off, Mr TLC always tries to be helpful and is absolutely lovely, but still recognises that stepping stones mean trouble ahead. Especially when I hadn’t come prepared to stick on some flip flops and get wet feet. This was supposed to be a gentle stroll. We diverted. Who wants to cross that river anyway?

Mousehole Forge Rivelin Valley - Stepping Stones

We were soon back on track and after a quick stop at the Rivelin Cafe to buy our copy of ‘Walking the Rivelin’ we continued to meander along, stopping to look at old millstones, tumbledown buildings and possibly the world’s least informative information board. (It was obviously new, it probably has some information by now.)

I was struck, as always, by how small some of these places were, not pleasant places to work in by any means.

Rivelin Valley Rivelin Valley Not too informative (yet)

More pictures tomorrow, or if you can’t wait, all of my Rivelin Valley photos are here.

Further reading: Walking the Rivelin, a pocket guide to the Rivelin Valley Nature Trail by Keith Kendall is available locally, including from the Rivelin Valley Cafe

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