After yesterday’s interesting walk to Harlaxton we are keen to explore a few more of the villages in the Vale of Belvoir, so today’s circuit takes in three villages and is linked by a combination of quiet roads, tracks and footpaths. The starting point is Sproxton, which is only a short drive from Casthorpe House Farm CL.
From the centre of the village we join the road that leads to Skillington and walk east, soon on our left we catch a glimpse of one of the many disused quarries in the area. From the 1920’s through to the early 1970’s first iron ore and then limestone were quarried around Sproxton.
The road has very little traffic and it is a pleasant afternoon to be out in the countryside. After just over a mile we pass the entrance to Saltby Airfield, it opened in 1942 and was used during World War II by the RAF and US Army Air Force. It’s main purpose was as a bomber station and transport airfield, it was mothballed after the war and closed in 1955. Nowadays it is the home of Buckminster Gliding Club.
Soon after we pass a couple of people conducting a traffic survey. It can’t be too arduous a task counting the traffic on this road, they could probably keep count on their fingers. As we approach Skillington the signs by the wide verge inform us that this is a roadside nature reserve.
On our right we spot a wartime pillbox on the outskirts of the village.
Entering the village there is a dovecote on our left, thought to have been associated with the nearby manor house, it was built to home four hundred and fifty birds.
At a junction we turn left towards the church, we pause to look at the old cross, apparently this was originally sited in the Square and later moved to this location.
We wander across to the church of St James, a fine looking building, inside it has a number of interesting features including a stained glass window dedicated to a past vicar, Reverend Charles Hudson. He was a keen mountaineer who lost his life along with three other climbers in an accident on the way down from a successful ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865.
Walking through the village we soon pass the substantial Methodist church.
Leaving the village in a southwesterly direction we follow an old drove, Buckminster Lane. It is a beautiful, sunny afternoon and there are many butterflies flitting about. We stop to watch a Speckled Wood sunning itself.
We reach a road with a modern water tower close to the junction.
We turn right here and follow the road into Buckminster passing the former stable block of Buckminster Hall as we enter the village.
Behind the stable block is a fine old water tower.
We take a right turn to wander down to the church of St John the Baptist. The church is locked, but outside there are many interesting features.
In the churchyard is the Dysart Mausoleum; built around 1880 by the trustees of Lionel Tollemache, 8th Earl of Dysart who died in 1878.
Leaving the church we take a footpath leading down besides the old vicarage and crossing fields towards Sproxton. On reaching the road edge of Sproxton we turn left and wander into the village, which has a fine village hall.
From here we follow the road out of the village to reach the 14th century parish church of St Bartholomew.
This church is open and we pop inside, this is another cracking church, but even on a warm afternoon it feels cold in here. It must be very chilly in the depths of winter.
Leaving the church we turn left along Church Lane and head back to the village to end our walk. Once again it has been a fascinating afternoon visiting these three villages. Our walk has covered close to eight miles and it has been a warm and sunny afternoon, going some way to make up for all the rain we have had on this trip.
To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Explorer Map 247 – Grantham
19th September 2017
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2017)