Saturday, 20 January 2018

Stoodley Pike Hill and Monument.

Stoodley Pike is a hill that overlooks the town of Todmorden, West Yorkshire. It is notable for the presence of the Stoodley Pike monument at it's summit. The hill and monument give outstanding views across the Calder Valley, with it's height letting you see for miles on a clear day.

The hill stands approx. 1300 feet (400m) in the South Pennines above the villages of Mankinholes and Lumbutts, not far from Withens Clough Reservoir. The monument is what the makes the hill notable as it can be seen for quite a distance along the valley bottom and even further amongst the surrounding hills.

Stoodley Pike Monument was designed in 1854 by James Green and completed in 1856 as the Crimean War was ending. It replaced an earlier monument completed in 1815 commemorating the defeat of Napoleon, which again is thought to have replaced an even earlier monument near the site. The cause of the 1815 structures collapse is due weathering and a lightning strike, the replacement was built further away from the edge due to this. The monument was repaired in the 1890's and during this a lightning conductor was added. Considering it's exposed position and the numerous lightning strikes that have hit it, the monument is in good structural condition.

The monument features a balcony area (Approx. 40ft above the ground)  accessible via a internal spiral staircase of 39 steps. The steps are very dark so a torch really is needed to climb up these. A grill has been added to allow some light in to the stairs but I have always found this useless. The entrance to the stairs facers north and above it there is an faded inscription that reads as follows,

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 IN
1889.













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