Penistone with PNFS

I’ve now joined a couple of the long walks organised monthly by Peak and Northern Footpaths Society. It’s a good area for walking and accessible by train from Sheffield and Huddersfield. We met at the station and being a railway buff I lament the loss of the main line here, Sheffield to Manchester via Woodhead. Although the station still serves Sheffield the trip takes a roundabout route through Barnsley twisting and climbing to  use the Penistone platform on a sharp curve with wheels squealing. So why is this such a poor alignment?

The answer is offered from old maps supplied by the National Library of Scotland This is not the original Penistone station. I recall locating the old station site and only now discover what it was.

The top map of 1854 shows a gently splaying junction and a good alignment to Peniston viaduct. Later the Iron Works causes a realignment and leaves the sharp curves still in use today. The lower map of 1894 shows the change. It also shows a turntable the pit of which we inspected at the start of our walk.

Other folk had their cameras out so take a look at Walking John We took paths that followed a stepped route up hill towards Hunshelf Bank and Windy Bank Hall Farm where a picture would spoil your surprise should you take this walk, but I have to say it was stunning and Hunshelf Bank offers a fine backdrop to a town renowned for steel.


The River Don and Barnsley may not have immediate tourist appeal but this was an interesting walk through some pleasant countryside. The Don around here has a number of footpath crossings by stepping stones. Some stones were moved out of place during winter floods. Fortunately we crossed the river by a bridge.

Like a big kid I was amused by the waste water treatment works at Cheese Bottom, yes it’s marked on the OS map by that name.


Then delighted to revisit Willow Bridge. In 2005 John K and I cycled a part of the Trans Pennine Trail and I remember this picturesque bridge. I’ve now looked back at pictures from that time and found I failed to make a visual record, but the location has remained etched in my brain.


Thanks to Dianne and David for leading the walk. At the end we made a dash away from the main party of twenty one and arrived back at the station with just a few minutes to spare before our train departed to Sheffield.

Penistone station Huddersfield platform in the 1950s

Penistone station Huddersfield platform in the 1950s

Penistone station Manchester platform looking towards Woodhead in the 1950s

Penistone station Manchester platform looking towards Woodhead in the 1950s


3 Responses to “Penistone with PNFS”

  1. Dianne Fortescue Says:

    Great blog Ken, filled in a lot of history I was unaware of. Glad you enjoyed walk. Dianne

  2. walkingjohnblog Says:

    Thank you “Great English Walk” very informative and well researched and written.

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