Saturday 3rd September to Tuesday 6th September 2005.
Weardale then to Hadrian’s Wall . The scope of Auden’s ‘Symbol of us All’
Sunday 4th September 2005
A clear day trekking eastwards to Park Crag and the chasm of Slitt Vein, more dramatic than at West Rigg. The relationship between the vein and country rock is very clear with remnants of the mineralisation existing as a huge outcrop of near vertical ironstone with fluorite and quartz. Spent several hours collecting specimens including some interesting forms of green fluorite. Walked to the site of Heights Mine, remembered from years ago. Old spoil heaps and the ruinous foundations of a mine building, the site of the collapsed entrance and a smaller level remain. Collected a few paltry location specimens then back to Peat Hill. A drive to Crawley Side via the back road off the Rookhope-Eastgate road. Stopped at the café on Crawley top. This is a wonderfully bleak spot where two standard gauge railway lines met. One crossed the fells from Boltsburn up the incline plane; the other serviced the quarries and mineral workings above Stanhope. All that is left are the track beds which make good foot and cycle paths. I would rather have a wheezing steam locomotive at the head of a rake of stone filled wagons. Found a brick rooted in the turf stamped with the impressed lettering ‘Thistle.’ Growing next to it a thistle. Across the fells to Blanchland and a return via the site of Rookhope Smelt Mill and the solitary arch that marks this once poisoned location. DWB