history stoodley pike todmorden west yorkshire uk

Stoodley Pike is a 121-foot monument that stands on a prominent Pennine hill, also known as Stoodley Pike, on the moors of Todmorden, West Yorkshire, Northern England. The current structure was designed by local architect James Green in 1854 and the building was completed in 1856 when peace was declared at the end of the Crimean War.

An earlier monument had existed on the site, started in 1814 to commemorate the defeat of Napoleon and the surrender of Paris then completed in 1815 after the Battle of Waterloo (Napoleonic Wars). This structure collapsed in 1854 following an earlier lightning strike and ongoing wear and tear from the elements. The replacement was therefore (rather wisely) built slightly further from the edge of the hill. During repair work in 1889 a lightning conductor was added. The Pike has since been struck by lightning on numerous occasions without any notable structural damage. There is evidence to suggest that some sort of structure existed on the site before even this earlier pike was built.

The inscription above the entrance is worn and covered with lichen but it is legible and reads:

STOODLEY PIKE

A BEACON MONUMENT

ERECTED BY PUBLIC SUBSCRIPTION

COMMENCED IN 1814 TO COMMEMORATE

THE SURRENDER OF PARIS TO THE ALLIES

AND FINISHED AFTER THE BATTLE OF

WATERLOO WHEN PEACE WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1815.

BY A STRANGE COINCIDENCE

THE PIKE FELL ON THE DAY THE RUSSIAN

AMBASSADOR LEFT LONDON BEFORE THE

DECLARATION OF WAR WITH RUSSIA IN 1854.

WAS REBUILT WHEN PEACE WAS RESTORED IN

1856

RESTORED AND LIGHTNING CONDUCTOR FIXED

1889


The site is inaccessible due to terrain to all vehicles including off-road vehicles and quad bikes, (the Pike stands on Langfield Common, so is the responsibility of Calderdale Council). Langfield Common is a true moor and an SSSI.


The structure contains a spiral staircase of 39 steps accessed from the north side. In 1889, during repairs, a grill was added to the top step to allow some light in, so only 6 or 7 steps are actually in total darkness. There are no windows. The exit from the staircase onto the balcony, some 40 feet above ground level, is on the west face. There is no way to ascend above balcony level.

It serves primarily as a destination for hikers, fell-runners and cyclists, being close to Mankinholes Youth Hostel and the Top Brink pub. Just below it on the roughly 200 metres contour shelf lies the Harvelin Park housing estate. From here walkers can enjoy an easy 30-minute walk to the Pike.

Many fell races visit the Pike, primarily those organised by Todmorden Harriers including the Noonstone, Hebden Bridge, Shepherd's Skyline and the Stoodley Pike Fell race.

The Pennine Way (Britain's first National Trail, opened in 1965) passes Stoodley Pike.

Stoodley Pike can be easily seen on the horizon, when stood in front of Beacon Hill, in Halifax, West Yorkshire.

In the last couple of years the entrance to the Pike has been re-paved and a seat has been provided to the south west of the monument.

Start Hebden Bridge Railway Station
Distance 6 miles (10 km)
Height Gain 984 ft (300 m)
with some steep slopes
Terrain Stony paths, muddy woodland and
moorland
Time 3.75 hours
Refreshment & public toilets Public toilets,
shops and cafes in Hebden Bridge
How to get there Rail and bus services to
Halifax, Huddersfield, Keighley, Todmorden
and Rochdale

1 comments:

paul,  20 December 2009 at 07:55  

stoodley pike is just out of reach for my five year old at the moment but walking to and from the pike is great excercise for all the familey and keeps the pounds of
i think a few more round trips are in the pipeline for the new year after another over indulging Christmas's and new year

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