Blog and photography by Victoria England @Victoria_england_photography

Lancashire, the county of serene countryside, bustling cities and towns and strewn with amazing history.  Whether you are a well trodden rambler, take an interest in local history, or are out for a day with the family there are an abundance of hidden gems all over the county, and The Queen Victoria Golden Jubilee Monument in Silverdale is, without a doubt, one of them.

The monument stands proud at the brow of Castlebarrow Hill which is, in itself, a beautiful sight. With Eaves Wood cascading down the slopes and its stunning views across the bay, you can see Warton Crag, the coast of Heysham, Lancaster, Clougha Pike and the Bowland Fells.

The rough stone tower, with its distinctive conical roof, was built by a local man called Mr. Bowskill on the instruction from the Hebden Family.  The Hebden family owned Castlebarrow and wanted to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria, in June 1887, with the unique folly.

The tower, which has been nicknamed locally as the Pepper Pot/Pepper Box, stands at 20 feet tall, and genuinely looks like a pepper pot.  A lovely local legend tells of soldiers billeted at the nearby Bleasdale House, which was being run as a Red Cross hospital during the First World War, they wanted to build a salt cellar nearby so that the Pepper Pot wasn’t lonely. How lovely is that?

I parked up at the National Trust car park (LA5 0UQ) and walked up to the Pepper pot from there. The tranquil ancient wood offers a spectacular display. Eaves wood is dominated by Oak, Ash and Lime trees that are surrounded by the undergrowth of ferns and lily of the valley. The walk is relatively gentle, with slow creeping slopes that have been well planned and signposted by the National Trust.

The only challenging part of the walk is the final little scramble to get to the summit – now if you are anything like me, where you can literally fall over thin air (yes, it’s happened more times than I would like to admit!), then I would advise taking your time for the final, slightly rockier climb. When you reach the top the views are rewarding enough! And there, standing proud against the 134 year old monument, is the captivating backdrop of Lancashire in all its glory.

I remember being in absolute awe when I reached the top. I recall feeling the wind on my face and being greeted with the welcoming sight of the Pepper Pot. Then, looking out for as far as I could see at our magnificent district.

This is undoubtedly the place where I truly fell in love with Lancashire. I stood there, taking in the views and being grateful to live in such a stunning county that is filled with historically diverse cities such as Preston and Lancaster; stunning countryside such as Rivington Pike and White Coppice; and hidden gems, like the Pepper Pot and its charming history.

Here’s to Rediscovering Lancashire in all of its beauty!

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