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Geology and Heritage Trail

In the Shadow of the Turbines

When the top of the Moor began to be ripped up for the road engineering necessary to get the huge turbines in their positions, and the concrete started to pour, it was a hard blow for volunteers to take.
But luckily TMRT was already working with Pennine Prospects Watershed Landscapes Project on a new Geology and Heritage Trail.  With the help and support of Calderdale Council, Todmorden Town Council, and Todmorden Moor Commoners, the Trust was able to complete the Trail as its last project.

Follow the white topped posts. There is also a Trail Leaflet down-loadable here.

About the Trail

This was first thought about when we made contact with the West Yorkshire Geology Trust and realised the full importance of the coal balls.  Thanks to Pennine Prospects’ “Watershed Landscapes Project” and Heritage Lottery funding the Trail is now a reality on the ground.

It’s now Geology and Heritage together.

The evidence of early mines, clay workings, primitive stone crushing, and quarries on the moor all add to the interest of the Trail, and of course these workings were there only because of the geology of sandstones, mudstones (clay shales) and several coal seams.

So, as well as some of the best views in the South Pennines, the Trail leads people over a historic landscape.  There are old mine entrances disappearing into the vegetation, and many mine depressions scattered over the hillsides.   
Some of these are dangerous and not to be climbed into. Until the middle of the last century men worked here in very harsh conditions.

J.T. Earnshaw

J.T. Earnshaw

With HLF money, Calderdale's Countryside Unit has put in waymarker posts, and arranged for large boulders to be moved into place to take some of the interpretation boards.  These help us understand how the geology and man's exploitation of what they found have created the landscape that we see today.  The panels also provide information on the fossils from more than 315 million years ago that can be found associated with the mine wastes.


The Trail is a circular route avoiding most of the wind farm site. The walk starts at the eastern end of Flower Scar Road with a large interpretation board to welcome you.  There is a downloadable Trail leaflet to help, but if you cannot access this, the white-topped marker posts indicate the route well, and the interpretation boards give good information along your way.

The Stone Crusher site.

At the eastern end of Flower Scar Road where it joins Tower Causeway there was a small quarry - Guide Quarry. Next to it the local people set up a stone crusher. This consisted of a stone wheel dragged around a circular stone floor by a pony or donkey to crush the very soft local sandstone back to sand. This was then used on the floors of the farm houses.

The Stone Crusher site

The stone crusher, with its crushing floor and edge-stones, was moved in 1979 to Bacup and is in the care of the Bacup Natural History Society.  The site of the crusher is now only marked by the central wooden post and a depression in the ground, now turned to bog. 

As part of the Geology and Heritage Trail we have cleared part of this area around the boggy centre circle, providing a seat with a very good view, and placed one of the Trail’s interpretation Boards on a large boulder beside Flower Scar Road.  This site is a small but interesting part of the social history of the Common, and the panel explains what the stone crusher was, and where the original can now be seen. The cost of the seat has been paid for with a Todmorden Town Council grant. 

The Stone Crusher site

Working party on site


Stone crusher in Bacup Town Centre