This weekend we ventured just over the hill to Kirkheaton for our daily exercise in order to do a well-known local walk called ‘Lizzie’s Lollop’. Similar to our previous walking blog on Beaumont’s Bolt, this walk is also named after a local resident, but its origins come with a most heartbreaking backstory.
A walk dedicated to Elizabeth Drake
Elizabeth Drake (Lizzie) was one of 17 children aged between 9 and 18 who sadly died on 14th Feb 1818, after being trapped in a mill fire at Atkinson’s Mill in Colnebridge. The fire, which was near what is now The Royal and Ancient pub, was caused by a boy called James Thornton who was taking a candle downstairs when it accidentally set fire to some loose fabric. The victims were all girls and were rumoured to have been chained up in an upstairs room. It is thought however, that escape would have been impossible such was the rapid spread of the fire that raged. As a result of this incident, the Child Labour Acts were later reformed following a campaign led by a local man called Richard Oastler.
Go and see the monument
A monument to commemorate the 17 girls that died in the fire can be found in the grounds of Kirkheaton Parish Church. If you take the side entrance opposite and up from the Beaumont Arms pub, you can’t miss it. Listed are all the children that died, together with their ages as well as a poem and other tributes.
A bit about the walk itself…
Based around Kirkheaton, this is a 6 mile circular walk that has lots of variety and interest. Easily accessible from Mirfield, the start and finish point is the Beaumont Arms Pub. Unfortunately, because of the lockdown, we were unable to call for refreshments, which would have been most welcome at the finish, and we promised ourselves that we would definitely revisit this walk when things return to normal. Click here for a printable pdf of the walk to use in conjunction with the signposted route to help you navigate your way around.
There are a few stiles on this walk, but nowhere near as many as Beaumont’s Bolt and many are of the walk through variety, so dogs will be able to pass through easily. This walk also takes you through Dalton Bank Nature Reserve which is worth a blog of its own. Look out for the quaint weaver’s cottages, and if you go soon you may spot the amazingly cute and super friendly Alpacas in a field near Upper Heaton.
Just some of the photos we took