A dog walk to Turton Tower

After a beautifully sunny morning I set out at lunch time to take Sophie and Poppie on a long circular walk from the Last Drop Village, stopping off to explore the grounds of Turton Tower en route. The first part of the walk was almost the same as the walk I did a month ago, leaving the Last Drop car park and following the path across the fields and through the golf course, but I hadn’t gone far when Sod’s Law decreed that several grey clouds would appear to intermittently block out the sun and turn many of my photos from bright to dull.
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Turton golf course
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When I got to the pond halfway round the course I turned left this time instead of right and followed the meandering path past various greens to the boundary fence and a farm gate. Beyond the fence was open grazing land and half a dozen sheep were mooching about picking at the short grass; one of them looked up briefly as we walked past but the others ignored us and just continued mooching and munching.
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Eventually I came to another fence and a gate and another choice of left or right; I knew that going left would take me miles out of my way so I went right and followed the lane down and over the castellated railway bridge to Turton Tower. The bridge was built in 1847 following the construction of the Bolton to Blackburn railway line through the grounds of Turton Tower ; James Kay, who owned the tower at the time, commissioned two footbridges across the line, specifying that they had to be medieval in style to be in keeping with the rest of the estate, and this particular one incorporates a viewing tower.
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Turton Tower railway bridge
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Turton Tower itself is a country manor house, a Grade I listed building and ancient monument ; it was originally built in the early 15th century by William Orrell as a simple two-storey stone tower but it was later significantly altered and timber extensions added, and by the Tudor and early Stuart period it had been transformed from a defensive fortress into a comfortable family home. During the 16th century two cruck framed buildings were added and a later extension at the front of the house created the imposing entrance ; a third storey was added to the tower itself and the original windows were replaced with large mullioned and transomed windows. During the 17th century the cruck buildings were clad in stone and the place then remained unchanged until the 19th century.
After falling into decline during the Georgian era the tower was sold in 1835 to James Kay, the inventor who had developed a successful wet spinning process for flax in 1824. He and his family restored the tower, adding a mock Tudor extension and many Victorian renovations including a Dutch gable facade. In 1903 the tower was bought by Sir Lees Knowles, an MP, and after his death in 1929 his widow gave the house and grounds to what was then Turton Urban District Council to use for the benefit of the public – up until 1974 the place was used as council offices but since then it has been a museum.
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Turton Tower from the main gates

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The summer house
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The formal garden
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The tower is open from Wednesday to Sunday inclusive and the current admission price for adults is £6 but having the dogs with me meant I couldn’t go in so I’ll save that for a return visit later in the year. The next part of my walk was along the main road for quite a distance past a stretch of open countryside before turning off and heading back towards the Last Drop Village. The grey clouds were breaking up and the sun was putting in a much better appearance so I decided to have a wander round the hotel gardens before going back to the van, and I was surprised and delighted to find a couple of ducks sunning themselves at the side of the garden pond.
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Those were to be my last shots of the day, it was time to head back home for a much needed coffee. Given how glorious the morning had been it was a shame that the clouds had decided to appear while I was out, but it hadn’t interfered with my photo taking too much and at least I’ve now got a good excuse to do it all again another day.
My walk, clockwise from yellow spot
 Linking up again with Jo’s Monday Walk where this week the architectural delights of Portugal’s Jerez are waiting to be explored and more than one serving of cake is waiting to be eaten. Time to put the kettle on now and read where the other Monday walkers have been exploring.

13 thoughts on “A dog walk to Turton Tower

  1. The footbridge reminds me a little of the one over The Strid at Bolton Abbey. Such grandiose ideas the man had! But it makes a focal point to your walk, and even the ducks look happy to see the sun, Eunice. 🙂 🙂 Many thanks for joining me. Have a good week!


    1. I’ve never seen the bridge over The Strid as I’ve never been up that far – I always seem to stop at the Cavendish Pavilion cafe! 🙂 Next time I go to Turton Tower I’ll see if I can get a photo of the bridge from the side, it looks quite unique.


  2. The ducks look like they’re having an afternoon gossip fest. 🙂 I love trails that give left and right options. I like the turns you took. I’m impressed that the golf course is not green. Over here, most golf courses are so green (including in the desert) that they look painted. Thanks for the walk. Reading other bloggers’ walking adventures has me thinking more seriously about knee surgery. I miss walking and cycling.


    1. To be honest I would really hate not to be able to walk the dogs and cycle so if they were my knees I would be having the surgery. The golf course is actually green – you can see a bit of it over the far side of the pond in the photo before the sheep – but when I took the first two shots a big grey cloud chose just that moment to cover the sun and make everything look dull. Maybe I should make that one of my missions – a walk round the golf course with several photos to show how green it is! 🙂


  3. That is a nice medieval style footbridge and I’ve not seen anything like it before. The ducks do look like they’re deciding to jump in the water or not 🙂 It’s nice to see some blue sky after the long winter months.


    1. I can imagine the duck conversation – “Are we going in or not?” “I don’t know – I know it’s sunny but the water might be cold” “Well I’ll go in if you will” 🙂 The blue sky was lovely even if the clouds did keep covering the sun at the wrong moments, and it was quite mild too 🙂


  4. Lovely walk. I’ve never seen a bridge quite like that one, and the house is such a weird mish-mash of styles. It would be interesting to see how the various extensions all join up inside, probably a lot of up and down to different floor levels. I await your report later in the year!


  5. Turton Tower is one local historic house I’ve never ever been in and it certainly sounds like a mish-mash of different styles so a revisit without the dogs will definitely be on the list for later in the year 🙂


  6. Glorious pictures. So pleased we have had a bit of sunshine. It makes all the difference! Being a technophoebic type of person, can I ask how you got the last pic, the map of your walk? X


  7. Taken from Google Maps Sharon. My photo editing programme – Photoscape – has a screen capture facility so I just find the bit of map I want, capture it via Photoscape and crop to show the actual area I’ve walked, adding the red route markers with the paintbrush tool and saving it to ‘my pictures’. I suppose I could have said I hired a helicopter and took the shot from the air, it would have been more exciting than sitting in front of a pc screen and pulling it from the internet! 🙂 🙂

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