The Cross Hills Methodist Church social walking group has been out and about again on their regular monthly countryside ramble, enjoying both the beautiful scenery and long distance views and the weather on a glorious sunny and warm Autumn day.
The group walked from Claremount, ascending gradually along a high level lane overlooking the Shibden Valley, until they reached the dry ski slope at Ploughcroft. They then continued along footpaths, passing the historic Scout Hall along the way, to Catherine Slack, from where they enjoyed long distance views of Ovenden and Ovenden Moor.
From Shibden Head, they returned down the opposite side of the valley, through woods and fields to Stump Cross and Shibden Park, before finally returning to their starting point at Claremount.
Scout Hall was built in 1681 for John Mitchell, a wealthy silk merchant. The Grade II listed building is supposedly a “calendar” building, with 12 bays, 52 doors and 365 panes of glass. John Mitchell lived a hedonistic lifestyle and much of his wealth was spent on horse racing and the demon drink. Even in this early time period, he was obsessed with building flying machines, and he died, apparently, in an attempt to fly a machine from a nearby hill. Since then, it is rumoured that the Hall is haunted by strange shaped flying objects and ghostly noises.
As usual, at the end of the walk the group returned to the Church for refreshments of tea, coffee and cakes.