Well, our mean time between video posts here at Waterstink is decreasing… (first video 17/01/10, second 08/01/17, third 02/08/17) but with a longer than originally anticipated delay we’re happy to present Episode 2 of our new video series, Water Stuff:

Water Stuff is a lighter take on water-related things. Episode 2 sees us visit the beautiful historic English village of Wycoller. Water and bridges are fairly intimately related and this episode shows two very old bridges found in this picturesque little village, dating back some 100-200 years and possibly 700-800 years.

There’s an even older bridge from about 1,000 years ago at Wycoller (although some sources dispute this and put all three bridges at more like ~16th century). This is Clam Bridge, a single stone slab spanning the stream; we’ll leave this one for you to discover when you visit, and here’s a quick picture of it below:

Photo: The 1,000 year old Clam Bridge at Wycoller. Source: RSPB Community.

We mention in the video that the Wycoller Country Park site and Wycoller Hall used to be owned by the local public water utility company, until around 1972 or 1973 – then the North Calder Water Board. (As an aside this was all before the consolidation of local public water utilities into far fewer and larger public water authorities that came in 1974. The names of specific Water Boards for particular areas of the UK before this time can be quite hard to track down. Thankfully the Abandoned Communities site had this information for the Wycoller area!)

It’s been common in the UK for the water utilities to own or have stewardship over vast tracts of land, much if not all of which was transferred to the private water companies after the privatisation in England and Wales in 1989. At Wycoller the Hall and site were bought from the Water Board by Lancashire County Council. Before this time, going back to around 1948, there has also been lots of restoration effort and other help by volunteers like the Friends of Wycoller.

At Wycoller there’s now information for tourists available on-site, and a small private shop/craft centre with a toilet (opening times can be found via Visit Pendle). Lastly Wycoller has some TV/movie connections. Actress Jenny Agutter can be briefly seen sitting on Wycoller’s Pack Horse Bridge in the 1970 film, The Railway Children. And one of the homes in Wycoller was built some 25 years ago by TV actress, Penelope Keith (that is currently for sale, if you fancy it!).

Duncan Thomas

2 comments

  1. Very much enjoyed your video of Wycoller. It brought back memories of my visit a few years ago. Glad you’ve been able to make use of my website on Abandoned Communities. I’ve added a link to your page and video (on page 4 of my piece on Wycoller). Best wishes…

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