Walk 2069 - printer friendly version
Brandy Wharf from Atterby Carr Lane Walk
Author - Hugh Marrows
Length - 5.0 miles / 8.1 km
Ascent - 0 feet / 0 metres
Grade - easy
Start - OS grid reference TF014938
Lat 53.431245 + Long -0.47526518
Postcode DN21 4UU (approx. location only)
The start lies at Atterby Carr Lane (grid ref TF014938) where there is limited off-road parking. A longer version of this walk starting east of Caenby Corner beside the A631 (see walk 3414). There is an inn at Brandy Wharf too (Tel 01652 678364) although it appears not to open regularly during the week; check by phone. Harlam Hill Lock (GR020944) has picnic facilities plus information boards about local history and wildlife.
The terrain this tranquil riverside walk beside the New River Ancholme is easy throughout with fine views eastwards to the Wolds. The 5 metre contours hereabout compare markedly with Lincolnshire's highest ground of 168 metres seen near Claxby Top just 6 miles away and clearly visible.
The "Old" River Ancholme was straightened primarily for land reclamation for farming. Glaciation here had left clay soils liable to flooding and the local dialect word "carrs" means low, swampy land, a fitting description of the original terrain. Another local name met on the walk is the South "Ramper"; a road raised above flood levels. The first river straightening was done in the 1630's prior to which the Ancholme had followed a very winding course to the Humber at South Ferriby. Modern OS maps still show clearly the former meandering course used by C20th parish boundaries.
Further improvements followed an Act of Parliament in 1767 in expectation of river boat trade but this failed to develop until further widening, begun in 1820, had made the river fully navigable by sixty-ton boats as far southwards as Bishopbridge. The "new" warehouse there (which is still there) was a boon to local farmers for most of trade on the "New Ancholme" was in agricultural produce. Harlam Hill Lock was designed by Sir John Rennie and built in 1827 at a cost of £ 2,027 as part of these planned river improvements. It was formerly known as Snitterby Carr Lock and there was once a bridge there too.
At first river traffic was by horse-drawn boats, especially for local destinations such as Brigg market, and it was only in 1879 that the Ancholme Packet Company introduced steam powered boat services between Brigg and South Ferriby to connect with the Humber ferries.
As trade declined the waterway fell into decay until the popularity of leisure boating made Brigg a popular destination with boats gaining access from the Humber via Ferriby Sluice. Recently the southern section of the river and Harlam Hill Lock have been restored and new moorings provided at Bishopbridge so the entire river has become a valuable new leisure amenity.
The origin of the name Brandy Wharf is with a bit of a puzzle with three possible explanations. One, that spirits were smuggled upriver there in the C18th, or secondly that once brandy was actually distilled there. And finally that a businessman called Brandy owned the land. Take their pick! There is another old warehouse there that probably also dates back to the 1820's.
After parking walk north along the lane leading from the junction. At a road junction keep ahead along another green lane (South Ramper). In a "short" mile this becomes surfaced but keep ahead to the B1205 road and turn right, using verges where possible. At a sharp left-hand bend take the track in front of you leading back towards the river. Go left over a footbridge to reach Brandy Wharf Bridge. Cross to explore, admire the river view to the north and visit the Cider Centre.
Return by the river to the footbridge, re-cross it but now keep ahead on a track to Brown's Bridge. Continue over a stile, still by the river, to Harlam Hill Lock.
In a further quarter of a mile you will again reach the end of Atterby Carr Lane. Turn right here back to your car.