February 2018 Picture of the Month


Blackstone Edge is a bleak and often unwelcoming place straddling the boundary between Great Manchester and West Yorkshire. Across it runs a paved causeway which was long believed to have been a Roman Road. It was, in fact, built much later – probably a mediaeval drove road or pack road, 'improved' and paved in the early 18th century. One suggestion is that it was paved after the passing of the Turnpike Act in 1734, becoming a toll road thereafter. Building it must have been a significant undertaking, for it is very steep in places as it runs down towards Littleborough – the channel in the middle probably to assist vehicles braking during the descent. The roadway has a total length of nearly two miles across very rugged rocky moorland near the high crag known as Blackstone Edge. Continuing my rummage through pictures I took early in my career, I took this Ektachrome transparency fifty years ago on a Zenza Bronica S2a camera, shortly after getting my first car.


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All images and text © John Hannavy