Digglum Bestiaruim ~ The Digglers' Crest

The Digglers

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.

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.

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 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.

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