30 Sept 2021

Crushing Plant, Mountsorrel Quarry


  I lived in Mountsorrel for a few years and it used to be a very dusty place. Every day at lunch there would be a thudding sound as explosives ripped more rock off the nearby quarry faces. Today, the old quarry is defunct, but large volumes of pink granite are still extracted at Buddon Wood. A public byway passes through the very centre of the processing facility and it’s a busy place. Huge wheel loaders trundle round, filling a stream of articulated lorries with tons of graded crushed stone amidst a constant rattle of conveyors and loud klaxons.   

North Side OF Langton Road Near Cranoe

A few weeks ago I walked along the top of this ridge and the barley was ripening well. Now the field had been harvested, ploughed and was in the process of being harrowed - the large lumps of dry, hard Leicestershire clay being no match for the heavy stainless steel discs that rattled over them, smashing the clods into a suitably tilled surface.   
 

Heading South, Welham Lane, Welham


 This September morning was rather dull when I set off from Leicester, but by the time I'd cycled to Cranoe, the sun was just starting to make an appearance. The lane from Cranoe to Welham is very quiet and the hedges on the eastern side had a recently manicured look about them. You'd be forgiven for thinking that the road was damp, but it was a trick of the light. 

Friendly Ram, Mowsley


 Near the end of a long walk, I crossed the A5199 to reach the bridleway en route to Mowsley Lodge. I was immediately spotted by these sheep who made their way across the field. The ewes and their lambs held back a bit, but a rather chunky ram was very bold. He was very friendly, not at all apprehensive and probably hoped that I had food!    

Muck Spreading South of Breach Farm, Walton


 On the footpath leading north to Bosworth Road near Walton I passed a number of large pastures, where verdant young grass was growing. The farmers were busy and there were a number of tractors traversing the fields, leaving clods of sickly smelling dung in their wake. Nearby, a JCB wheel loader was making light work of refilling hungry muck spreaders from a massive pile of rotted manure.     

Footpath W of 'The Grange', North Kilworth


 After leaving North Kilworth and crossing the busy Lutterworth Rd, a footpath rises up onto a broad ridge that descends from Mowsley. It was early afternoon in September and the morning cloud cover had almost cleared when the sun illuminated this sentinel ash tree. From here, there are extensive views over Lutterworth and the Soar Valley. 

Along The Bottoms, North Kilworth


 

Church St, North Kilworth

I had a pleasant stroll through North Kilworth where two guide books that I own (both written around 30 years ago) informed me there were no street signs in the village. That problem seems to have since been rectified and I had no problem navigating my way along the pretty thoroughfares past red brick houses and pretty cottages separated by paddocks and open spaces. 
 

Church St, North Kilworth

A gentle September afternoon’s light ennobled the church of St Andrew’s as I walked up the bridle path from Mill Farm, providing me with a serene scene at the end of the track. I wandered around the churchyard where there were a number of Swithland slate gravestones and one bright red heart shaped balloon.

Farmland near North Kilworth


 

Pump House, Tower Quarry, Swithland


 This pool hides what was once a slate quarry, thought to have been worked by Thomas Rudkin between 1852 and 1887. Keeping the pit dry was always an issue and water was removed by a steam pump which was housed in the tower. D.A. Ramsey tells us that "the demand for roofing slate from the Leicestershire quarries began to fall dramatically as Welsh slate in large amounts and Cumbrian slate in small quantities were brought into Leicestershire after 1874".