Monday, 2 September 2019

A Walk from Wentworth to Greasbrough

The Doric Temple in Wentworth Park

When visiting Pudsey and the Fulneck Moravian Settlement, I knew that I was approaching the limit of my travels by public transport – with four bus and two train journeys taking four hours, plus time waiting during the changes in the mode of transport, making it a very long day out. 

The route of my walk from Wentworth to Rotherham

My next trip out a few days later, to walk from the village of Wentworth to Rotherham via Greasbrough Dams was undertaken with the intention to explore a part of the Wentworth Estate that I had known about for 40 years, but had never visited. 

Old Holy Trinity church

During a trip to the Cooper Gallery in Barnsley earlier in the year, I was told by one of their gallery assistants that the Fitzwilliam family vault at the Old Holy Trinity church would be open and, having visited this church many times before, I was very keen to see it. 

The Fitzwilliam family crypt

I had it in my mind that I would see something quite spectacular but, on first impressions, I thought it looked like some kind of austere WWII concrete bunker; however, when realising that it was constructed from massive blocks of gritstone – with slabs of Welsh slate to seal each occupied niche - I appreciated the skill that was involved in making it. 

Wentworth Woodhouse

Having had a brief chat with a former colleague from the South Yorkshire RIGS Group, and discovering that St. Oswald’s church in Kirk Sandall – maintained by the Churches Conservation Trust - would be holding open days later in the year, I set off towards Wentworth Woodhouse, which was largely covered in scaffold. 

An old quarry in Wentworth Park

During previous visits to the Wentworth Estate, I had noticed an old quarry and wanted to investigate it on this occasion; however, as with many parts of the estate, it was off limits to the general public and I could only take a photo from a distance. 

Barnsley Rock on the Wentworth Estate

Wentworth village and Wentworth Woodhouse are underlain by the west-north-west trending Barnsley Rock, from the Pennine Middle Coal Measures Formation, which is downthrown along a fault on its northern boundary with older mudstone and siltstone – producing a repetition of the geological sequence here. 

An outcrop of flaggy Barnsley Rock

A very small outcrop of flaggy Barnsley Rock appears in the middle of grassland but, in general, its position is marked by changes in topography, with the sandstone forming features with the softer rocks forming depressions in the landscape. 

An angler at Greasbrough Dams

I had hoped to explore the whole length of the valley in which the Greasbrough Dams have been formed but, for some reason, the permissive access to this part of the Wentworth Estate has been revoked and so I carried on down the path, where I came across several anglers, one of whom had just caught a large carp. 

St. Mary's church in Greasbrough

Finally arriving at Greasbrough, I didn’t take much notice of the building stone used in the Victorian St. Mary’s church, being instead being more interested in the orange coloured sandstone that has been used in some of the Victorian terraced houses here. 

Victorian terraced houses in Greasbrough

Before setting off for the day, I had discovered that the longstanding bus route from Rotherham to Wentworth had been inexplicably changed and, not knowing where I would need to catch my return bus, I wandered around the new part of Greasbrough and unexpectedly came across the Public Hall Memorial

The Public Hall Memorial

In 2017, despite considerable local opposition the Public Hall, built in 1925 and a popular venue for nearly 100 years, was demolished so that the adjoining roundabout could be enlarged. Quite unusually, however, the Ancaster limestone pediment was salvaged and rebuilt on the Greasbrough Field play area.

A detail of the Public Hall Memorial

Having finally found a bus stop, only to see that I would have to wait half an hour, I decided to end my day by walking back to Rotherham, during which I encountered further outcrops of an unnamed Middle Coal Measures sandstone in the roadside embankment.

A roadside exposure of Middle Coal Measures sandstone


  1. Brilliant! A video would be nice too.

  2. Thanks Denie. It is a nice walk, full of interesting things to see - pretty much like most of my trips out. I have never used a video in my life, except when I very occasionally change the settings on my camera by accident...