Wickhambrook Walking Group

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Wickhambrook Walks

This route which takes you from Hundon to Poslingford and back is just over five miles and if you wish for a picnic midway there are several seats in Poslingford churchyard. The walk is one of undulating contrasts with one particularly long cross-field path which should be clearly indicated, good views and several short sections of great interest. Enjoy.

This series of walks have been put together by Roger Medley.

If any of the walking notes are confusing or inaccurate or the information is wrong, please contact Roger. If they are helpful, or if you have any other comments, likewise.

The Wickhambrook W.I. Walking Group meets every Wednesday morning at 10am starting from the MSC car park for walks in the village or slightly further afield. We walk for about two hours and cover about five miles, depending on how much chatting is taking place and there are usually six of us, although we have had a dozen occasionally, and dogs are welcome too.

Walk 25 - A Hundon Walk

MAP » you might find it useful to view the map using this link »larger version« where you can also change the view from Streep Map to Satellite Map to view the route across fields, etc.

ROUTE » Park in the village hall car park. The village shop is nearby (open normal hours) and you can reward yourself with an ice cream having completed the circuit. Turn right down the main street, pass the school and go left into the churchyard (the finger post is hidden in ivy behind a brick wall). If you reach the Rose and Crown you’ve gone too far. Continue ahead passing the church entrance on your left and go through a gap in the wall.

Walk for a short distance between fences and cross a footbridge. Veer right and left to follow the obvious path between two cropped fields. Cross another footbridge and climb a stile veering right across an unkempt area then through a gap in the hedge.

Walk across a grass strip between a hedge and paddock fencing, the farm drive and pass agricultural buildings on the left. There are waymarks along this section. Enter a small field still accompanying wooden rails and ignore a waymark pointing left. Enter a large arable field and follow a path through the crop that disappears into the distance.

If you are unlucky enough to find that it has just been ploughed head just to the right of a lone tree then into the distance aiming for the top of a hedge covered mound. The chances of this path not being marked are minimal; this particular landowner has a conscientious approach to footpath maintenance.

Eventually, after passing into a second field, you will reach a hedge at the far side. You should bear left and follow this downhill to reach steps and a road. Cross this (fingerposts) and continue with the hedge still on the right. In the corner cross a metal footbridge and continue in the same direction heading uphill (a steady climb) with the hedge now on the left. This is an area of very large fields and good views; luckily you stick to the edge.

At the hilltop corner turn left for few paces then right to head towards power poles in the distance. Follow this grassy track under the wires and then to the left to stay with a new field edge as it curves downhill to the right. The buildings of Poslingford can be seen in the valley. This quiet hamlet is worth a visit. At the field corner continue ahead with a hedge on your right. Go through a gap in the hedge on the right (waymarks are on show once you have turned the corner) and walk between a wooden fence and (eventually) gardens. The path appears to continue to the church but this is not the case.

Ignore the first waymark on the left but take note of the (less obvious) second. The right of way goes to the left between houses to reach the ‘high street’. There is a rusty corrugated shed on the left and a ‘Do not feed the horses’ sign on the right. If you taken the correct path you will emerge at the finger post beside 3, Brookside. In the churchyard, just to the right, there are three benches among lime trees so if it happens to be lunchtime (and not raining) you can munch in comparative comfort. Having sat for as long as you are allowed leave the churchyard and head back up the main street.

Veer left at Conifer Cottage and left at the next waymark to take a path that leads over a stream. You return to the track between the gardens and the wooden fence. Turn right and follow this back through the gap in the hedge. Now turn right and left in the corner to stay with the field edge as it climbs gently uphill. Turn left in the next corner (waymark) and stay with the field edge as it climbs more steeply uphill (Note: This is not as shown on the Explorer 210 Ordnance Survey map)

In the next corner, at the top, you will find a path with a waymark hidden in brambles to the right. Take this across a sleeper bridge and turn left and right to find a cross field path. At the far end you will be faced by a hedge and track. Turn right (there is a waymark but it may be hidden in the greenery). Turn left at the corner and take the track to the road. Continue ahead but take the left fork in front of cottages and continue up the drive to Chipley Abbey Farm. Soon after passing the entrance gate you will see on the right a memorial stone depicting the site of Chipley Priory.

An extract from the Clopton Chronicles states

‘In the early 1100s there was a great push by the Catholic Church to establish places of worship in England. The great Norman lords of England demonstrated their piety and devotion by erecting cathedrals, monasteries and priories. The earliest surviving documented building connected to the ancient Cloptons is found at the ruins of Chipley Priory, located on land granted to the Cloptons. The exact date of the foundation of the priory is not known however the earliest records pertaining to it are to the year 1235. It seems likely that the priory was built much earlier as the stones have come from Caen, Normandy. A large part of the original structure, and probably the adjoining church, seems to have been incorporated into the farmhouse, which now occupies the site of the priory. The owners of the house, which is known as Clopton Hall, once discovered numerous human bones when digging a new garden beside their farmhouse. They re-interred the bones in the garden. They also discovered a chapel bell ands stone sarcophagus, which have been placed in Poslingford Church’.

Follow the drive through the farm buildings (several bridleway arrows), slowly curving right to find a green lane between hedges leading gently uphill. After passing a metal gate turn left and continue ahead along the byway following the power cables and ignoring the footpath turning to the right. You will enter a shady section (leave the power cables behind) which can be muddy in winter. Veer left at a corner and continue just inside the wood with fields obvious through the trees on the right.

Eventually you will reach open skies and continue forward along the field edge and track until you reach the road. Walk to the right for 200 paces but then take the first footpath on the left (fingerpost) to head gently downhill beside a hedge. Turn right at the corner and left to follow the path between fields. In front of the dead ‘tree’ (not really sure that’s fooling anyone) turn right. Take the sloping footbridge on the left to continue gently downhill.

Accompany the power cables and cross or go through a series of stiles and footbridges of different designs all the way back to the churchyard. Veer right then turn right on reaching the main street to return to the car park.

One Sunday evening in February 1914 the church was gutted by fire leaving nothing more than a charred skeleton. It was rebuilt over the next two years in a conservative style. The interior is wide and open with chairs used judiciously but all the walls are a sad shade of grey. The best bit is the churchyard with mature trees and leaning C18 headstones; just how an old churchyard should look.

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