under your place

It only takes one look at an OS map to see why Springhill is so called. Copyright forbids my putting the map here but the little blue ‘Spr’ label is rather liberally scattered over the hills behind Springhill. This is confirmed by a walk up on the hills where a number of springs are readily visible: some tamed, others just emerging and forming bogs and streams as nature permits.


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The first is at the top of Edge Lane and the second above Mucky Earth.

The water has to come from somewhere and there is indeed a large underground reservoir under Seat Naze and Saunder Height - probably more than one and probably interconnected. There is an entry in Bolton’s woods just behind Heightside House, another in Scout and possibly a third in Whitewell Bottom. This supplies water to Heightside House. A group of intrepid explorers known as the Rossendale Historical Detective Agency set off to explore it and produced these stunning pictures from the Heightside entrance. There is a well founded rumour that a dinghy may have been involved...
(pictures courtesy of Chris Lord of RHDA - many thanks)

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This cavern isn’t the only underground attraction. There are less well attested stories of an underground connection between Chapel Hill Quarry (by the Friend’s burial ground just NW of Springhill) and Bonfire Hill Quarry in Crawshawbooth. If present, this would form an underground passage between the two major Quaker sites in Rossendale, but there must have been easier ways for the Friends to make the journey.

Further north lies Gambleside with the remains of the old Gambleside mines. Most of the shafts have been capped off and grassed over but there is still the odd one remaining... I’m not aware of any accidents in the old Gambleside mineworks but there certainly was an incident when two boys entered the old Dean pit in the 1940s and never came out.

Finally there is a passage between Holly House on Church St, Newchurch and St Nicholas’ church. This would link church and vicarage.