Monday, 23 November 2020

70 Acre Hill and High Hazels Park

An artificial pond on 70 Acre Hill

Following the COVID-19 lockdown instructions to go out only for essential exercise and shopping, my third trip to explore the geology around Treeton involved a short bus journey to Poplar Way, from where I headed north under the Sheffield Parkway to the 70 Acre Hill local wildlife site.

Gorse on 70 Acre Hill

As with Treeton Dyke and the land around Spa Farm and the River Rother, I had walked around this area many years ago and didn’t encounter any rock outcrops, but I remember the impressive views from the top of 70 Acre Hill, which is actually a landscaped tip of colliery waste.

Like at Treeton and nearby Catcliffe, various coal mines once operated in the area and the now disused Sheffield City Airport was built on the site of a large opencast mine, which was closed and infilled before I moved to Rotherham.
Views towards Rotherham
The path from the Sheffield Parkway to 70 Acre Hill passes around Tinsley Park Golf Course and at the time of my visit, the ubiquitous gorse bushes were in full bloom; however, I stopped only to look at the views towards Rotherham, where the Mexborough Rock forms the high ground.
A recreational area on 70 Acre Hill

Wandering randomly around various pathways, I encountered a few artificial ponds and a small recreation area, where there is a concrete sculpture, and then headed downhill to High Hazels Park, which I had never visited before.
An artificial pond

At its centre is the mid C19 High Hazels House, in the Italianate style, whicht is now the home of Tinsley Park Golf Club. It is notable mainly for the use of Permian dolomitic limestone which, although a very common building stone in Rotherham and Doncaster where the Cadeby Formation outcrops, I had not seen before in Sheffield - except for the chancel at St. James' church in Norton.
High Hazels House

On one corner of the house, a bright red patch on the limestone can be clearly seen from a distance and, looking closer, this reddening is the result of a fire that must once have been lit right next to the wall.
Fire damage at High Hazels House

I have seen this oxidation of the iron bearing minerals in several old buildings and ruins built out of dolomitic limestone, where there has been a fire, but the intensity of the heat here has been such that it has shattered the stonework.
A view across Tinsley Park Golf Course
Various modern sculptures are dotted around the park, as I have seen before in several parks in Sheffield, and I took a few photographs of these before heading across the empty golf course on the way back towards Poplar Way and Morrisons supermarket at Catcliffe.
A view of Treeon from Poplar Way

I didn’t see any rock exposures but, having walked for 6.75 km, it was good exercise and I now have a better appreciation of the varied topography formed by the Pennine Middle Coal Measures Formation strata in this part of South Yorkshire, as well the coal mining history.

A walk around 70 Acre Hill

No comments:

Post a Comment