SMOKE SIGNAL WALKS IN & AROUND CROFTON                                                                                      

There are now two walks on this page. This is the latest one:

2. Millennium Stone to Anglers Country Park

Millennium Stone    This walk starts at the Millennium Stone near the car park opposite the chemist in the High Street. 

     After wet weather there can be muddy patches on this walk and so boots of some sort are advisable. 

      Walk up the High St towards New Crofton - notice the old cottages next to the chemist, the Infant School (1877). 

     At the mini roundabout turn right on Hare Park Lane and look for Chapel End Cottage (1866) on the right, continuing until clear of the houses 






     Please observe the country code and in particular keep dogs on leads. There is usually livestock in the fields and the area around Anglers is a nature reserve

     Looking right (NW) there is a clear view across the former railway sidings, now a sports area. Take the first turning in the road on the left with the allotments coming up on the left. Progress to and cross the railway bridge to go through a gate on the left. Also on the left is the remains of Crofton station.  In the field bear right, keeping the hedge on your right, continuing over the brow of the hill to a stile. Cross and continue with the hedge still on the right to the stile in the bottom corner of the field. Cross the stile and after 10 yards or so turn up the field with the hedge on your left to another stile. Over the stile and Anglers lake can be seen ahead, continue forward for 30 yards to the main path then turn right, with the lake on the left.  

     At the fork, take the left path and progress to the 5 bar gate which protects a restricted nature area. Turn right on a narrow path and progress to eventually turn right at the T junction. Continue along this path ( there is an opportunity to go to a bird hide by taking a path on the left and going towards the lake) with a hedge on the right, ignoring 2 minor right turns to arrive at the Waterton Discovery Centre. Here, there is the possibility of tea in the Squires Tea Room and the Discovery Centre (opening times permitting)



    To continue your walk, return along the path to the lake but this time take the right hand fork. With the lake on your right look out for the variety of bird life on the water, the grass, in the trees and in the air. As you approach the far end of the lake (opportunities to rest at the strategically placed seats) look for a path on the right, follow this, crossing a log across the path and progress to the road. Take extra care on turning left into the road. It is narrow and winding with no footpath. Note the link footpath which has been constructed to link the Anglers site to the new footpath along the disused railway line. Progress over the disused railway bridge, being extra aware of the possibility of unsighted cars coming over it. After crossing it progress towards Crofton, use the footpath on the right hand side of the road. When this path ends just before the next railway bridge cross carefully to the left side to join a footpath up towards the Slipper pub on the right. Follow the path and road to the left, ignoring the turning on Oak St. Note the half pit head wheel - a memento of the area's mining industry. Return to the village, passing the Catholic Church and the Lord of the Manor Pub (blue plaque on the wall). We hope you enjoyed your walk  




1.      Pinfold, Old Sharlston Hall and Foulby    

This local walk starts in Slack Lane near the Weavers Green. Good, solid footwear is advisable since it can be a bit muddy in winter. Walk towards Doncaster  Rd and when almost at the junction, cross to the pavement on the opposite side of Slack Lane.  (Great care should be taken in crossing the roads on this walk - in particular, hold on to children). 

Cross Doncaster Road, using the traffic island, to join a footpath on the opposite side then take a slight detour left to look at Crofton's pinfold.

The pinfold was used to keep stray sheep.

To resume the walk, take the right hand footpath (signposted) diagonally across the field. The line of the footpath should be defined by earlier walkers, if not, make for the telegraph pole. Cross the stream, still heading towards the pole and then turn right to follow the line of the hedge (later a fence), with the hedge on your left, all the way up to a stile. On your left is Birkwood farm. Looking back at this point, there is a pleasant rural scene which includes Crofton church.

Take care at the stile as the path emerges immediately into West Lane which often has speeding cars. Cross the road to join a hard surfaced, wide path then bear left along the footpath at the side of the road. On your left-hand side is the White Horse pub. A bit early for a drink?

The footpath passes a pond on the right and a farm on the left  which often has eggs for sale.  Now look for the white fronted cottage on the right and cross the road to join a narrow asphalt path. Ignore a footpath sign pointing to the right and carry on along the path with houses on your right. Over to your the left, Old Sharlston green emerges.

After leaving the last house (bungalow), a pond comes into sight on the right and the path joins the road which turns right. If a rest is necessary at this point, there is a bench, commemorating the 3rd millennium, over-looking the green Re-join the road and look to your left for Sharlston Old Hall, now a farm, which dates back to the 16th C.

Carry straight on to follow the cart track/bridleway in the cutting. At the top of the path where it clears the hedges, you reach the highest point of the walk (around 250 ft) and on a clear day the power stations in the Aire valley can be seen to the left.  Further along the path, still to the left, you will see the wooded estate of Nostell Proiry. Follow the track all the way to the trees  which are about 50 yards from Doncaster Road.  Again, take care at this busy road.

On reaching the road, take a 30 yard detour left to look across at the detached house which has a blue plaque commemorating John Harrison whose early years were spent around Foulby.

He is celebrated for his single minded lifelong dedication to producing a timepiece, suitable for taking to sea, which had the accuracy required for determining a ship’s longitude position. Only the intervention of George III and an Act of Parliament eventually gave him the reward he deserved at the age of 79.

Captain Cook took a Harrison timepiece on his second global voyage and referred to it in his journal as …

"...our faithful guide through all the vicissitudes of climates."

Return along the roadside path where, on the right, are a number of large houses one of which was once the surgery for Crofton's GP. Cross Doncaster Road towards a track with a sign at the side for S& D Landscapes. After around 30 yards, take the right track (footpath sign) then, after a further 20 yards, leave the cart track and follow the narrow footpath on the left. This footpath, leading to New Crofton, was known as the Doctor's path. The recent opencast, now reclaimed, and old Nostell colliery sites are to the left. Follow the path until it reaches the former allotments which, although very derelict, are good for wildlife. Be careful here as there are unseen hazards within the vegetation on either side of the path. As you emerge into New Crofton you will see, on the left, new houses that have replaced the ‘Lump’.Eventually you reach a red bricked road, stay with the footpath at the right, following itpast New Crofton Garage and into Santingley Lane. You are now heading towards the village centre. After about 1/2 mile and on the right, note the Lord of the Manor pub, the building of which was once part of Manor Farm.

A close look at the blue plaque will reveal that Titus Salt, born in Morley, lived here before he moved on to become famous for his industrial and social developments at Saltaire - now a World Heritage site.

Further along the road, still on the right is another former GP's surgery, now the parish centre.  Around the corner is Crofton's first public funded school founded in 1877 and still used as an Infants’ School.

Further along, and on the opposite of the road in the grounds of the High School, is Crofton's Millennium stone which commemorates the Torchlight Procession held on the eve of the year 2000. Turn right into Slack Lane, passing on the left the GP's current surgery (or Health Centre) and on your right one of the Junior Schools, to follow the road back to the start.

We hope you have enjoyed your walk. If you have any suggestions for further walks to be featured contact:

e-mail address smokesignalATcroftonDOTorgDOTuk
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