Digglum Bestiaruim ~ The Digglers' Crest

The Digglers ~ Pet Memory Website

A Geographical Study of the Diggle Valley ~ Introduction

Section 1. Introduction

I have selected this particular area for intensive study because I own five acres of it! Although that is only a small percentage of the valley, I am intrigued as to what answers I will find geologically, historically and agriculturally.

Map1: Area of study. Diggle Valley in relation to the Lancashire/Yorkshire border.

Map1: Area of study.  Diggle Valley in relation to the Lancashire/Yorkshire
        border.
Click to enlarge image

The area I have chosen for this study is Thorns Clough, which is part of the Diggle Valley. Diggle is part of the urban district of the Pennines. Now, however, due to the reorganisation of the county boundaries, it is included in the Metropolitan District of Oldham within the Manchester conurbation. Saddleworth covers an area of over 18,000 acres much of which is almost uninhabited moorland. It lies entirely within the drainage area of the River Tame, a tributary of the Mersey. The eastern boundary which crosses the high gritstone moors around Standedge, follows the watershed between the Colne and the Tame. The River Tame and its tributaries have cut deep valleys through the rocks of the Millstone Grit Series and in places the overlying coal measures have been exposed. Many of the villages and hamlets which comprise of Saddleworth, lie in the valley bottoms and between each group of valley settlements are stretches of rough moorland.

Map2: District of Saddleworth and the drainage system of the River Tame.

Map2: District of Saddleworth and the drainage system of the River Tame.
Click to enlarge image

The River Tame has its source in the moorland north-west of Denshaw and extends in a southerly direction to where it joins the Goyt and the Mersey at Stockport. During its course southwards it picks up the waters of Diggle Brook, Thorns Clough and Chew Brook, thereby acting as the main drainage of that section of the Pennines. It is of recent origin and bears no apparent relation to the underlying rock head surface, having carved its way through thick deposits of glacial material to form the present Tame Valley.

Map3: Area of study, Thorns Clough.

Map3: Area of study, Thorns Clough.
Click to enlarge image

Map3 indicates the area of study I have chosen. It is a valley that is situated north of the village of Diggle. The valley is Thorns Clough and it extends in a north-easterly direction for about two miles. A small stream Thorns Beck which rises in the foothills of the Millstone Grit of Standedge, runs through the valley. It joins Diggle Brook just south of Diggle and joins the River Tame at Uppermill.

Photo1: View of Valley-Thorns Clough, looking north-east.

Photo1: View of Valley-Thorns Clough, looking north-east.
Click to enlarge image

Photo2: The stream at the northern part of the valley at Dean Head.

Photo2: The stream at the northern part of the valley at Dean Head.

Photo3: The stream has now reach Carr Lane at the southern part of the Valley.

Photo3: The stream has now reach Carr Lane at the southern part of the Valley.