Roadside Buzzard


On the lane between Notton and Woolley, a kestrel sits, hunched and huddled, in a roadside tree.

At Woolley Edge, there’s a flash of colour as a jay gets up from a roadside verge. Oak trees grow along the sandstone ridge here, so perhaps it was burying, or retrieving, an acorn.

As we reach the open higher ground at Bretton roundabout, we pass a buzzard sitting on a fence-post at the edge of the road.

As we get nearer to Flockton, we see a second kestrel, hovering over the field by the road.

Notton in the 1800s

Notton from the original Ordnance Survey map, 3D view created in Memory Map.

Looking at our route on the original Ordnance Survey map from the 1800s, I’m surprised to see what a busy landscape this was, with its sandstone quarries, gravel pits and a brick kiln where George Lane meets the Wakefield to Barnsley road.

Just north of the gravel pit there are kennels and, more exotically, three-quarters of a mile to the northeast, there’s a Menagerie, which was part of the Chevet Hall estate.

An osier bed, near the top right corner of my map, would have produced the flexible whips of willow needed for basketmaking.

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  1. Your posting reminded me of childhood walks around Wooley and Notton with my dad after he retired. I am still amused by the fact that ‘Mucky Lane’ running south-west from Notton was renamed as ‘Keeper Lane’, presumably because someone didn’t like the old name. It’s original name can still be found on the old OS maps.

    1. Thank you, I hadn’t heard the old name. I know that Smawell Lane at the other end of the village was once called Halfpenny Lane because that’s the direction the drovers came from and they paid a halfpenny a head to graze their cattle on the green. A good little earner for the village. The introduction of refrigerated lorries must have been a game-changer for Notton!

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