I went on a short solo wander on Sunday morning to explore the rough land between Thornton Garden of Rest and the new Broom’s Cross Road. I took the bus to Edge Lane / Water Street and walked to the old Thornton village centre, which still has its ancient cross base and a set of stocks. They can’t be very old stocks because they appear to be made of cast iron. Perhaps they replaced older wooden ones.
Alongside the Nag’s Head pub is an old road called Holgate, which used to lead to a footpath into the farmland, but is now crossed by the fast new road. Happily, they put in several pedestrian crossings while they were building, to accommodate ancient rights of way, so I was able to achieve my ambition of stopping the traffic on that stretch.
I planned to go and see the ancient monument, the original Broom’s Cross, but the footpath was too overgrown. There was a bird of prey overhead, probably a Sparrowhawk, which had put up a large flock of small brown birds from the farmer’s field, possibly Linnets. High-pitched goose calls overhead attracted my attention to a small flock of Pink-footed Geese, heading eastward. They are regular migrants to south Lancashire for the winter.
Stopping the traffic again (what fun!), I took the new footpath alongside the road, leading to a patch of rough meadow. One Large White butterfly was still on the wing. Flowers still showing were Ragwort, Bindweed, Red Clover, and the lovely curled-up seed heads of Wild Carrot.
The path across the meadow led to the back of the local cemetery, Thornton Garden of Rest. The only birds seemed to be Magpies, Crows and Wood Pigeons, but there were plenty of small groups of people, visiting graves on this lovely bright autumn day.