Where is it? Horwich / Bolton, Lancashire
In which area of outstanding natural beauty? West Pennines
How tall is it? 1,276 feet (approx)
Also known as “Two Lads”. Probably not on your average Peak Bagger’s To do list!
Two Lads is named after the twin cairns erected here on the bleak landscape of Wilder’s Moor to commemorate the deaths of two men found here in the last century. Alternatively, it is the site of an ancient burial ground as befits the collective characters of a number of hills and mounds here on these sodden moorlands!
Whilst it is true to state there there is not much merit in ascending this hill for the peak bagger extrordinairé, with a summit of over 1,200 feet there is a sense of a job well done at the top. The climb up the east side from Rivington is certainly not to be taken lightly and thankfully the majority of this is via well established tracks (in this author’s opinion we might like to stick to the one path and avoid turning the hillside into a great ugly scar!) across grassy fields with hardly a rock or pebble in sight. Drainage here is passed on to the main un-named stream (at least I am not aware of the name)which terminates at a reservoir to the north of Montcliffe Stone Quarries a few miles south of Two Lads.
The singularly most impressive property of Two Lads is the mighty cairn. Once there were two of these fine monoliths, sadly the passing of time has witnessed erosion via the hands of vandals of one cairn to such a degree that future generations might well refer to the cairns now as One Lad. Fortunately there are some people whom care enough about these mighty stone towers to have begun erecting and re-erecting not one but two more cairns that for now will probably remain a work in progress for an indefinite period of time. To the locals (or more distant heroes) that have undertaken this task this author owes you a debt of gratitude, but let’s not get carried away and just stick to enlarging the three lesser cairns that already exist as opposed to making too many new ones. The mess on some summits of the lakes and dales should be a warning to us all of the folly of overpopulating a hilltop with cairns.
The views to the south, east and west are a joy to behold for both their beauty and diversity. On the one hand are the Pennines, the Welsh Mountains and the Peak district and on the other are the sprawling conurbations of Bolton, Salford, Manchester and beyond. The North is reserved for the looming presence of the seemingly ubiquitous Winter Hill, and we’ll come to her later!