Peak & Northern Footpaths Society (est.1894)

Book Review: The South Yorkshire Moors by Christopher Goddard

Mel Bale, Membership Secretary, Webmaster and Trustee

This article is from Signpost 59, Spring 2019

One of our bookshelves has over twenty books of walks in the Peak District. So when I first heard that yet another was about to published I was intrigued to see if it would add anything new to our already extensive range. I’m delighted to say that the answer is a resounding YES!

Christopher Goddard, who some of our readers may already know from his earlier books about West Yorkshire, has now turned his attention to what he describes as the ‘landscape of his youth’. His new book is titled The South Yorkshire Moors. It is a true guide book rather than simply a collection of walks. Despite its title, the area covered stretches from Snailsdon Moss in the north to Beeley Moor in the south, by way of Bleaklow, Kinder Scout and the Eastern Moors.

The author has a detailed knowledge of these moors, having explored many of them with his dad from a very young age. These early experiences sparked an interest in the landscape and how it is portrayed on maps. Chris has drawn his own maps since childhood and now describes himself as ‘an obsessive cartographer’.

The book begins with an extensive introduction which explains the geology and gives a detailed history of the area along with an account of the struggle for free and unfettered access to it. The main body of the book comprises thirteen chapters, each covering a different moor. A total of thirty five hand drawn maps illustrate these areas. These maps are accompanied by a further twenty one showing routes by which to explore the moors. The walks vary in length from 7 to 15 miles, most are classified as moderate and are suitable for walkers with experience of the terrain covered. All the maps are illustrated and annotated to show both contemporary and just as importantly historical features of interest.

The chapters are separated by a number of short pieces covering topics ranging from moorland birds, the Eyam Plague and peat cutting. The book concludes with a wide ranging bibliography and a comprehensive index, ideal features with which to delve even deeper into the character and history of this fascinating part of the country’s first national park.

Extract from Kinder Scout - Central Map

Chris has produced a remarkable book. It is full of wonderful illustrations, maps and a wealth of information. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

The book is published by Gritstone Publishing. PNFS members can purchase a copy of the book at a discounted price from:

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Page title:Book Review: The South Yorkshire Moors by Christopher Goddard
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