Limersgate is an ancient highway pre-dating medieval time, running between Rochdale and Clitheroe, it may have recieved its name in either of two ways. It marks the boundary of the forest of Rossendale where hunting took place in medieval times. Hunting dogs were known as ‘limers’ from the Latin - Ligamen - leash.
The more popular belief is that it received its name from the transportation of lime from Clitheroe by Galloway ponies. The teams were led by ‘lime gals’, the most famous of these in the Rochdale area being Mary Alice Hartley known popularly as Ailse O’Fussers. The highway entered Rochdale at the present day Heights Lane.
As part of an artist residency for the Mid Pennine Arts project Spodden Valley Revealed, David Chatton Barker walked from Bull Brow in Rochdale centre to Hades Hill, above Shawforth. From the birthplace of the Co-operative movement to a Prehistoric Barrow, the contents of which was an urn containing the burnt bone fragments of a woman along with her tools and talismans. The trackway passes many interesting sites, joining the dots of a well worn route by foot and hoof over many many centuries.
The walk was around 6 miles in length and took 5 hours due to conversations, documentation and lunch. The journey was photographed, filmed and audio recorded.