Compston's Cross is on the Rossendale Way.
This is a 46 mile circular route around the Rossendale valley in Lancashire in the United Kingdom. The cross is situated at this location
. The cross is located on Gambleside Moor where there were 2 ancient crosses. There is a marker stone to mark the position of the Western Cross (also known as Higher Cross or the Cross) which is 250 yards away. The Western cross was thought to be at the cross roads of two ancient tracks, one from Whalley Abbey to the Abbey's Estates at Brandtwood, nr. Bacup. This would also be on a straight line almost to Pilgrims Cross on Bull Hill, near Holcombe and perhaps the Affetside Cross too. The Packhorse Inn in Affetside appears to have a trail leading from the pub carpark down to the Irwell valley.
The other major trade route would be the wool trade route from Preston to Heptonstall. The original cross was a plain shaft with a cross carved on, into a plain square base.
|Crack of Dawn|
The cross shown in the photograph is the refurbished one by Alderman Samuel Compston in 1902/03. It is believed that there are 5 or 6 old tracks meeting at this place. However it seems that the cross may have been a memorial or burial monument unlike the Western Marker stone. Samuel Compston published a series of 13 musical articles in the Rossendale free press. A link to the website
is here. More research into why the cross was built and what it's significance may be is needed.
|Packway running South|
|Just about to turn South|
I completed "the Rossendale Way in a day" in 2011 in about 14hrs 30 minutes. The first major turn in the route from Loveclough was at Compston's Cross. I was looking for the location of the Western Cross - I never found a trace, but I did take more photo's of the cross. These were taken at 6 in the morning heading straight from Loveclough into the sun(East). It is clear that it is the right location for a meeting of trackways. There was clear evidence of well worn tracks and depressions in the land.
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