Wycoller Country Park

Wycoller is a small village in Pendle, Lancashire. It is situated 2 miles east of Colne, close the border with West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire.

In the 18th and early 19th century the village developed from a farming community to a centre for handloom weaving. By 1820 its population had risen to around 350.

The introduction of power looms throughout the 19th century led to a decline in the village’s fortune. Its handloom weavers left to work in the factories of larger towns. By 1871 all the weavers had left the village. The economy had reverted to agriculture.

Pearson Lee Farm, Wycoller
Pearson Lee Farm, Wycoller

Towards the end of the 19th century the village looked set to disappear forever. There were plans to flood the Wycoller Valley and establish a reservoir to supply water to Colne. However, the scheme was abandoned as underground water was discovered. Water was taken from a borehole instead.

Throughout much of the 20th century the houses here were mostly uninhabited. In 1973 the village and surrounding land was purchased by Lancashire County Council. They established Wycoller Country Park. The cottages were renovated and are now desirable places to live.

Cottages at Wycoller village, Lancashire
Cottages at Wycoller

Wycoller Hall

The ruins of Wycoller Hall lie at the centre of the village. The building dates back to the late 16th century. It is be believed to be the inspiration for Ferndean Manor in Jane Eyre, the novel by Charlotte Bronte.

Door at Wycoller Hall
Door at Wycoller Hall

The last occupant of the building was Henry Owen Cunliffe. Henry inherited the estate in 1772, aged just 21. He renovated the property with a view to attracting a wealthy wife. His plan bore fruit, and in 1775 he married Mary Oldham, the daughter of a prosperous hat manufacturer.

Ruins of Wycoller Hall
Ruins of Wycoller Hall

Henry was a prolific gambler. Gambling and the cost of the renovations sent him into debt. After his death in 1818, his heir was unable to repay the mortgage and the estate was split up.

Wycoller Hall
Wycoller Hall

Throughout the 19th century the hall fell into ruins. Stones were sold to build a cotton mill in Trawden and plundered to construct other buildings.

Wycoller Beck and the Bridges

Wycoller Beck flows through the village and park. It is crossed by seven historic bridges.

The Clam Bridge is the most primitive. It is a single stone slab. Holes indicate the former position of handrails. It is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and thought to be over 1,000 years old.

Clam Bridge, Wycoller Beck
Clam Bridge

The Clapper Bridge is more complex; consisting of three stone slabs resting on two piers. It is also known as Hall Bridge, Druids’ Bridge, or Weavers’  Bridge. It is a Schedule Ancient Monument and is located near the ruins of Wycoller Hall.

Clapper Bridge, Wycoller Country Park
Clapper Bridge

Packhorse Bridge boasts two arches. The stone surface is worn and grooved; caused by years of use by clog-wearing workers. It also known as Sally’s Bridge and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

The Packhorse Bridge features in The Railway Children; widely regarded as one of the best British films of all time. Roberta Waterbury (Jenny Agutter) is sitting on the bridge when she is met by Doctor Forrest (Peter Bromilow).

Packhorse Bridge, Wiycoller Country Park
Packhorse Bridge

Aisled Barn Visitor Centre

The Aisled Barn was built around 1630 on the site of an earlier cruck barn. The roof and rafters are supported by huge oak pillars. The pillars stand on stone bases to stop the wood rotting.

Interior of Aisled Barn Visitor Centre, 17th century barn at Wycoller Country Park
Interior of Aisled Barn Visitor Centre

In its lifetime it was used for a variety of purposes; as a shelter for cows and for storing crops. In 1774 it became a coach house for Wycoller Hall.

Exterior of Aisled Barn Visitor Centre
Exterior of Aisled Barn Visitor Centre

It opened in 2002 as a visitor centre following renovations. Displays offer information about the history of Wycoller hall, weaving, farming, the bridges, wildlife, and the area’s connection with the Bronte sisters.

The Atom

The Atom is a fantastic work of public art and one of the four Lancashire Panopticons.

It enjoys a prominent location on a hill to the east of the village. The vantage point offers great views of the country park and sights such as Pendle Hill.

Walkers at The Atom, Pendle, Lancashire
Walkers at The Atom

Walks

The park is on the route of the  Bronte Way, a 43-mile long-distance footpath between Oakwell Hall in West Yorkshire and Gawthorpe Hall near Burnley.

A considerably less arduous walk is our walk around Wycoller Country Park. Sights include Wycoller Hall, the bridges, Wycoller Beck, and The Atom.

Another sight on the our walk are the stone slab walls. These distinctive walls were built as cattle enclosures. Their age is not certain but they are commonly believed to be medieval. They give the area an ancient feel.

Stone slab walls at Wycoller Country Park
Stone slab walls

Dogs must be kept under control. Much of the park is a working farm.

Cafe

The Old Dairy is a delightful cafe. It is housed in a former cowshed. It boasts a fantastic interior with stone walls, antique furniture, and a welcoming open fire.

They offer meals, pots of tea, and homemade cakes.

The Old Dairy cafe at Wycoller Country Park, Lancashire
The Old Dairy

Fairy Doors

Recent years have seen a local artist place fairy doors in trees around the park. Children love finding the colourful little doors.

Location

Wycoller Country Park is best reached by car. It lies around 3 miles east of Junction 14 of the M65 Motorway; the motorway linking Preston to Colne.

Parking in the village itself is for residents and disabled badge holders only. The absence of traffic adds to the serene, idyllic environment. There are car parks on the outskirts of the park; Trawden Road Car Park and Haworth Road Car Park. Parking charges apply.

The Trawden Road Car Park is closer to the village (Wycoller Hall, Visitor Centre etc.). The Howarth Road Car Park is adjacent to The Atom.

Trawden Road Car Park at Wycoller Country Park, Pendle
Trawden Road Car Park

To find the Trawden Road Car Park with a satellite navigation system use the postcode BB8 8SY. The Haworth Road Car Park is off Lancashire Moor Road (postcode BB8 7EH).

Haworth Road Car Park, Wycoller, Lancashire
Haworth Road Car Park

The nearest train station is Colne; approximately 3 miles away.

Nearby Attractions

Tourist attractions and things to do near Wycoller Country Park include:

  • The Atom (0.3 miles) - Contemporary viewing point at Wycoller Country Park in Pendle.

Map

Map showing location of Wycoller Country Park.

Map showing location of Wycoller Country Park

Details

Wycoller Country Park

Address and postcode
Wycoller
Lancashire
United Kingdom
BB8 8SY

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