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At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Trigs 103 - Delf Hill plus 3 - shocking!

Tuesday 31st August 2021 

Butter Haw (Mickleber Hill)     SD 930 529     178m

Pinhaw Beacon                          SD 944 471     388m

Delf Hill (Stanbury Moor)        SD 977 357     445m

Wolf Stones                               SD 971 394     443m

I was proud of my careful study of the map showing a route straying slightly from the pubic footpath but avoiding field boundaries. Pride comes before a shock.

Mickleber hill was enclosed in a 100 yard diameter circle by a fence and TWO electric fences. The trig was about thirty yards away. Experience tells me that such fences are often not switched on. There was no barbed wire on the fence proper and I reckoned with a bit of stretching I could get under the first electric wire then straddle the fence and the second wire. I was well embarked on this manoeuvre and involved with both electric wires when I started receiving shocks from both of them. One had become caught round my boot and I had to extract it with bare hands thus adding more shocks until I managed to get clear, still of course on the the outside. As I reflected I reckoned I had been insulated until well into my involvement before  I grounded myself with my walking poles  -well that's my theory anyway.

It looks like this campaign is being redefined as unspecifically "visiting" these trigs and photographing them, but not necessarily touching.

A short drive took me to the car park marked on the OS map for the ascent of Pinhaw Beacon. This trig stands exactly on the Pennine Way long distance path and I must have bagged it when I did that walk in 1987 but I was rewarded by this visit. There is a superbly constructed toposcope beautifully engraved next to the trig - it was  done by one Douglas Goode, I'm not sure who he is - more persistent Internet searching may discover. The toposcope is dedicated to those who have died of Covid and to all the National Health workers who have been, and are involved.  Goode has included a sonnet and information about Robert Wilson's grave located nearby and marked on the OS map.There is some information in a Craven Herald article:


It seems Robert Wilson was a keeper of the beacon in 1805. Running short of food in his hut he set off in a snowstorm to re-provision and perished. Details can be read (I think) on the photo below. 

I spent some time trying to find Wilson's grave but after tiresome struggling about in deep heather gave it up as bad job.

When I had parked at the car park there was just me and one other car. Three quarters of an hour later when I returned the car park was full, a party of ramblers were just setting off.

I was able to park at the  dam wall of Ponden reservoir. I seem to be cherry-picking parts of the Pennine Way recently and I followed it again up to High Withins of Brontë fame, see photos below. I have passed through this ruin several times  but today diverted to the trig on Delf Hill above. Here there were  carpets of purple heather in bloom in all directions, a sight that always uplifts my spirit. I descended by a slightly different route before rejoining the PW and then, having carried my food and flask all the way there and back lunched in the car.

Ascent to Wolf Stones, after a short drive was from a tiny lay-by within thirty yards of the footpath leaving the road. Further up this narrow road with limited chance to park was another small lay-by which I used with Bowland Climber when we were walking the Brontë Way.

I met A couple on the way to Cowling embarked on the Pennine Way and then a chap on his own. All my recent encounters on the PW have underlined my view of what a truly classic walk this .

Because this day was split into a few shortish sections I had thought I would not be walking far but when I checked back home I found I had done about ten miles in all and I was well tired and am still stiff next morning as I sit and write this up.


The trig for Mickleber Hill is on the horizon left of the trees. The cows ignored me

Mickleber Hill trig about twenty yards away The detail of the fences,  electric and otherwise have not shown up well in the photo. The single line one two feet in front of the fence doesn't show at-all.

The Pennine Way is well furnished throughout with these wooden signs but they are now showing their age and are often unreadable

Pinhaw Beacon and the new toposcope

Purple heather - because I like it

Pinhaw car park - just one car when I arrived. Now full three quarters of an hour later

Whither shall I wander...

Brontë history re High Withins. I forgot to take a photo of the ruin

Delf Hill  - heather as far as you can see in all directions

Descending back to Ponden. The final trig is on the first horizon above the reservoir

Wolf Stones

Just the blue arrowed line. Others are history and flights of fancy added to my Memory Map over the years

Haworth at right puts these two trigs in context


Blogger will not let me get rid of the underlining on some of the captions (and here) despite applying the "clear formatting" tool. I have better things to do than spending the rest of the day trying to solve this.


  1. Always enjoy reading about your adventures, and glad you survived your shocking experience! Like you, I usually assume the electric fences I come across are not actually working, and am amazed I haven’t had a shock yet. I’ve learnt a new word today: toposcope.

  2. Did the electric fences on Mickleber serve a purpose?

  3. Ruth - I'm glad to read that your skepticism about electric fences is similar to mine. I was feeling a bit foolish at getting into that pickle.
    BC - I couldn't see any definite reason except that the enclosure had created a field that I think was being mown for hay, so I suppose just to keep cattle out (and, just for the spite of it, Conrads.) Whatever it worked.

  4. I don't recall exactly where it was, but I do recall the incident in the Scottish Borders, on one of our Big Walks, when we came across a permanent electric fence. We spent some time establishing that it wasn't powered before climbing over. It was as my inner thigh touched the fence that I discovered that it was powered after all. Fortunately there was nobody else around as I made my feelings about the situation known at some volume.

    In other slightly random recollections triggered by your post: we once spent a night a few paces away from Top Withins, drinking tea-coloured water as the only stream we could find nearby was so peaty. The next morning we continued on our way and came across a crystal clear stream within a minute or so.

  5. Gayle - Top Withins ranks with Iron Bridge as one of those places you find yourself having to pass through more than once in a lifetime.

    As I write this I have given the matter more thought. I was carrying a length of rubber 15mm. copper pipe insulation slit down its side to cover barbed wire and I could easily have slipped that over the second wire. I often say that when you have lost something, or you are having difficulty interpreting the map or your navigation, sit down quietly, regroup and think carefully, advice that I failed to follow on this occasion. Well, I'm not going back.

  6. Gayle - spelling of Withins corrected - thanks.