Walk 25 – A Hundon Walk
Walk by Roger Medley
This route which takes you from Hundon to Poslingford and back is approaching six miles. 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, exposed sections with good views and several short lengths of great interest. Enjoy.
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. 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 and continue in the same direction aiming for the top of a hedge covered mound. Eventually, after passing into a second field, (waymark) you will reach a hedge at the far side. You should bear left and follow the headland 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 edges. 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 turn immediately left to stay with the edge of a new field as it curves downhill to the right. The buildings of Poslingford can be seen nestling in the valley. This quiet hamlet is worth a visit. You soon pick up a mature hedge on your right. Just before the corner 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 continues to the church but the last section is a ‘villager’s path’ rather than a Right of Way. Cross a sunken track and enter the churchyard. Among the lime trees there are several benches 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 left up the main street. Veer left at Conifer Cottage and left at the fingerpost 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 and stay with the field edge as it climbs more steeply uphill. 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 (waymark) to find a cross field path. At the far end you will be faced by a hedge. Turn right (there is a waymark but it may be hidden in the greenery). Turn left at the corner and walk to the road. Continue ahead but take the left fork in front of the 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 and a stone sarcophagus, which have been placed in Poslingford Church’.
Follow the drive through the farm buildings (there is the occasional bridleway sign), slowly curving right to find a green lane between hedges leading gently uphill. After passing through 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 soon enter Black Grove plantation (leave the power cables behind) which can be muddy in winter. The track follows the perimeter of the wood and at all times fields should be obvious through the trees on the right. Veer left in a corner. Eventually you will reach open skies and continue forward along the field edge and a gradually improving track until you reach the road. Walk to the right on the verge for about 250 paces. Cross the road and take the first footpath on the left (just before the Max Speed 20 sign) to head gently downhill beside a hedge. Turn right at the corner and soon after left to follow the path between fields. In front of the dead ‘tree’ (not really sure that’s fooling anyone) turn right and accompany the hedge on your left. At the bottom of the second hollow take the sloping footbridge on the left to continue gently downhill. Stay with the power cables and climb or cross a series of stiles and footbridges of differing designs all the way back to the churchyard. Turn right then right again 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 church is usually open. The interior is wide and open with chairs used judiciously but all the walls are a sad shade of grey. The organ has travelled all the way from from Scotland. Of particular appeal is the churchyard with mature trees and leaning C18 headstones; just how an old churchyard should look.
Roger Medley Walked 4th August 2009
Updated 5th October 2017
If these notes are confusing or inaccurate or the information is wrong, please let me know. 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. There are usually six of us, although we have had a dozen occasionally, dogs are welcome too.