Penistone Hill Geology Trail

A short trail has recently opened in the South Pennines to tell the story of the area's geology and long industrial heritage.

Fossil tree stump sculpture, 243 kb
Fossil tree stump sculpture
© Stevan Tica

Penistone Hill Geology Trail is an easy 2.5 mile circular route taking in two quarries and various geological features, plus four specially commissioned sculptures.

'The sculptures have been carved from Yorkshire stone and are used as markers along the trail' explained self-taught sculptor Stevan Tica.

'Two of the works illustrate the origins of the landscape; the first is of a fossilised tree stump, with a few leaves and a dragonfly to represent the material that decomposed to form coal over millions of years, and the second a river channel, which shows how water carved out the landscape.'

'The more recent history can be seen in a relief carving of a horse gin, a mechanical device used by miners to bring buckets up the mine shaft to the surface. This is the biggest sculpture weighing about a ton. [There's] also a depiction of two quarrymen splitting a rock using the plug and feather technique.'

A new booklet guide accompanies the walk, written by Alison Tymon, chairman of the West Yorkshire Geology Trust, and local historian Steve Wood.

Alison explained the importance of the quarries to the area:

'There's lots of evidence of mining and quarrying, which links us to our industrial heritage. But it's more than that; these quarries provided all the stone for the mills and dwellings in the Upper Worth valleys; most of the buildings we see here today have been built of stone from these hills.'

'People have always been interested in the heritage of the mills but not so much the mines and quarries that helped to build them. Now that is changing.'

And it's not just the relatively recent past that can be revealed, Alison added:

'Steve is the historian and I am the geologist. He has made the connections between quarrying for building stone and mills and I can see what life was like in this area 300 million years ago by studying the quarries; they're very informative.'

The 20-page booklet which brings all this together is available from visitor centres in Haworth and Hebden Bridge for £2.

The booklet and trail have been funded through the Watershed Landscape Project, managed by Pennine Prospects, and in partnership with Bradford City Council.

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