Hartburn Glebe Walk
This was a short but very scenic route through Hartburn Glebe woods, part of a walk from Middleton.
The path passes through woodland alongside the burn.
Along the way we came across Hartburn Glebe Grotto (now a grade II listed grotto), though none of us knew at the time what it was called or what is was for, it looked almost like a church built into a cleft in the rocks.
We later found out that it was cut into a partial natural cave by Dr John Sharpe who was vicar of Hartburn 1746—1796.
It has two compartments, the first contains a fireplace (and two modern plastic chairs provided by locals for
the weary travellers.
Above the entrance are two niches which once held statues of Adam and Eve.
The grotto was built as a changing area for ladies wanting to bathe in the river, a short slab roofed tunnel
leads from the grotto which allowed ladies to discreetly reach the river.
Further downstream, in a deep pool, local folklore has it that the village baker hid his money in a chest, the pool became known as 'The Bakers Chest'.
We didnt go to that part so we will never know if there's a fortune hidden still! somehow I doubt it.
We queried the meaning of the word 'Glebe' and found it means clod, land, soil and was a piece of land serving a part of a clergymans benefice to
provide income either by farming it or letting it out.
Walk Leader: Dennis Borley
Write up: Margaret Waugh
Photos: © John Conder
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