It has long been accepted by local historians that in the pre-industrial period there was a way linking Old Glossop, Simmondley and Charlesworth, and the most like route for this was via Crosse Cliffe, The Bank, Bridge Lane, then Old (How) Lane to Simmondley village and High Lane to Charlesworth; a total distance of around 4.25km. Part of this paved cart way or 'causey' is visible at The Bank near Bank Farm in Glossop and was investigated by Glossopdale & Longendale Archaeological Society in September 2015 after the owner had recently stripped back the overlying vegetation. The trackway comes off the north side of The Bank just east of the farmhouse, and can be followed for a distance of about 22 metres. It does not sit within a hollow way, and its primary feature is two parallel lines of roughly-rectangular sandstone slabs or blocks, laid end to end. The whole track has at some point been concreted over to the width of about 4 metres, and it appears that the blocks have become visible again as the thin layer of concrete over them has broken up due to wear or frost action.
This route was thought by OS surveyors to be of Roman date, but this is now thought to have been a misinterpretation. Certainly it would have appeared to have been of some antiquity at the time it was surveyed in 1838. On the basis of current evidence it appears that the paved cart-way or 'causey' at The Bank probably represents a reinforcement of at least some sections of the ancient way between Charlesworth and Old Glossop, to enable it to carry heavy coal waggons from the pits at Simmondley in all seasons. As it does not sit in a hollow way, it appears to have been a surfaced way from the outset. It is likely that other sections of the way were reinforced in a similar manner.
It was almost certainly constructed at the expense of the lord of the manor, most likely in the late 16th-early 17th century, after the manor had passed out of the hands of Basingwerk Abbey. Monastic houses did pave ways on their estates, and there are documentary references in the late 13th century deeds to 'the road of Chasseworth' and 'le cauce' (the causeway), which have been taken to refer to Monks' Road but which might also refer to another way from Charlesworth. However, a medieval causey was likely to be for horses and walkers only and of much lighter construction than The Bank, which appears to have been built for the regular carriage of heavy loads by vehicle, and is therefore unlikely to predate the expansion of the economy in the 16th century. A date later that the late 17th century is also less likely given that by 1838 there was no retained memory of its construction. (1)
Unpublished document: Hargreaves, R (Glossopdale & Longdendale Archaeological Society). 2015. Initial Survey of a Possible Post-Medieval Paved Cart Way or Causey at SK 0364 9389 The Bank, Glossop.
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Centred SK 0267 9337 (3273m by 1807m)
CHARLESWORTH, HIGH PEAK, DERBYSHIRE
GLOSSOP, HIGH PEAK, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Sep 21 2020 1:18PM
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