The Snake Path

What a change from yesterday. Blue skies and autumnal warmth. William Clough and the Ashop valley.

William Clough, a notorious climb up to Ashop Head, the route of an ancient path from Hayfield to the Snake Inn. Yesterday’s post featured Ashop Clough, down which the Snake Path descends.

On the 29th May 1897, an agreement was reached, after protracted negotiations, between the Peak District and Northern Counties Footpaths Preservation Society and the various landowners that the Snake Path was an ancient right of way1Information plaque at the start of the Snake Path in Hayfield SK 04071 86827.. The society had appealed for £1,000 to put forward the case2Harding, Mike. “Walking the Peak and Pennines”. Pp 111-114. 1992, Michael Joseph Ltd. ISBN 0 7181 33587.. The landowners had been vehemently opposed and did their best to thwart the case.

The year before, in 1896, ‘Flâneur‘, writing in the Sheffield Independent, had walked the route and complained that the comfort of his walk was “sadly interfered with … by the pertinacity with which the landholders have erected walls straight across the track3‘THE NEW ROAD OVER THE SCOUT’ (1896) Sheffield Independent, 20 Jun, 7, available: https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.is.ed.ac.uk/apps/doc/R3208774636/GDCS?u=ed_itw&sid=bookmark-GDCS&xid=91feeb39 [accessed 24 Sep 2021]..

In the same article, ‘Flâneur‘ also writes of a newly-built cottage that had been erected completely across the path on the outskirts of Hayfield. The Hayfield Board of Guardians had refused to sanction the plans, but the owner of the property had “bridged the difficulty by granting another path which runs at right angles to the high road along the side of the house, and the Guardians allowed the plans to pass4‘THE NEW ROAD OVER THE SCOUT’ (1896) Sheffield Independent, 20 Jun, 7, available: https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.is.ed.ac.uk/apps/doc/R3208774636/GDCS?u=ed_itw&sid=bookmark-GDCS&xid=91feeb39 [accessed 24 Sep 2021]..

I was intrigued and a perusal of the modern map shows a distinct right angle at the start of the Public Bridleway.

Flâneur‘, someone who saunters around observing society. I like that, it could be me.

The Snake Path at Hayfield
In the final decade of the 19th-century a Hayfield resident built a house across the line of the ancient right of way known as the Snake Path. Eventually the landowner agreed to a deviation to the path. I believe this 90° corner is the result of that deviation.
  • 1
    Information plaque at the start of the Snake Path in Hayfield SK 04071 86827.
  • 2
    Harding, Mike. “Walking the Peak and Pennines”. Pp 111-114. 1992, Michael Joseph Ltd. ISBN 0 7181 33587.
  • 3
    ‘THE NEW ROAD OVER THE SCOUT’ (1896) Sheffield Independent, 20 Jun, 7, available: https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.is.ed.ac.uk/apps/doc/R3208774636/GDCS?u=ed_itw&sid=bookmark-GDCS&xid=91feeb39 [accessed 24 Sep 2021].
  • 4
    ‘THE NEW ROAD OVER THE SCOUT’ (1896) Sheffield Independent, 20 Jun, 7, available: https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.is.ed.ac.uk/apps/doc/R3208774636/GDCS?u=ed_itw&sid=bookmark-GDCS&xid=91feeb39 [accessed 24 Sep 2021].

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