Walking the camera in the South Pennines

New author Stuart Paulley has published a book of photographs which he has taken over many years of walking in the South Pennines. Each image is accompanied by text relevant to the photograph
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The South Pennines overs the area between Manchester and West Yorkshire, easily accessible but less well known than other walking hotpots. This is an area of high moorland with deep, often wooded, valleys and drained by fast flowing rivers such as the Colne and Calder.

Early textile manufacture took place in isolated farms and small collections of houses sited around the countryside, where income from farming often marginal land was supplemented by handloom weaving; the workshop often ran along the top storey of a row of terrace cottages with the typical rows of mullioned windows.

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There were so many of these isolated settlements with people needing to travel between them or to cloth markets, such as that at Halifax’s magnificent Piece Hall, that there is a dense network of footpaths, so inviting to explore on foot,

The author above Diggle, SaddleworthThe author above Diggle, Saddleworth
The author above Diggle, Saddleworth

Later, textile production moved to water -driven mils, now abandoned but providing a unique landscape as they are being reclaimed by nature, such as at Crimsworth Dean. Steam power using the plentiful water and coal resources meant that huge mills could be built for textile production; these are themselves now being adapted for other uses, including housing as at the Titanic Mill at Slaithwaite.