Gammaton Cross and Halfpenny Bridge

One of the things about returning to a CL site is that we are familiar with the local area and will have done walks we want to repeat.  Seabreeze CL being located so close to the Northam Burrows has seen us out with Crosby early in the morning for at least three miles just wandering around the open access land.

The last two days has also seen us repeat walks from previous visits.  On Wednesday we walked from the site along the South West Coastal path to Westwood Ho! and then up to Kipling Tor, you can see details of that route here. Yesterday saw us heading off to Great Torrington to walk a section of the Rolle Canal and the Tarka Trail, I have walked this route a few times and details can be found here.

Today Lynnie is meeting her cousins in Appledore whilst I take Crosby out from Great Torrington on a quest to bag an Ordnance Survey Trig Pillar.  My starting point is the large car park on Great Torrington Common and I begin by heading north west on the common and then gradually descending on a path towards the A386.

Just before reaching the road I turn right on a track and then take a left across a stream, keeping to the left along the base of Furzebeam Hill and then after a couple of hundred yards turn right on a footpath heading east uphill.

I stay with this path to meet a junction of paths at the top of the hill, here I turn right following a path besides the edge of the common.

I stay with this path as it turns to the left to join a minor road where I turn right and head downhill to a four way junction where I turn left and follow a minor road signposted for Gammaton and soon cross a bridge.  My route now stays with this lane for three miles to reach Gammaton.  Along the way there are a number of ancient milestones harking back to the days when this would have been a major route to Bideford and Barnstaple.  Thankfully now it is a very quiet lane and I only meet a handful of cars.

At Gammaton Cross I go straight over and soon fork right to reach the Gammaton Cross Ordnance Survey Trig Pillar.  This is the 241st I have bagged and like many in this part of Devon is situated on top of the hedge line and is overgrown.

From the trig I retrace my steps to Gammaton Cross and go straight over, after passing a milestone I fork right on a lane signposted to Weare Giffard.

After a few hundred yards at a fork in the road I keep left still heading for Weare Giffard and stay with the signs to the village as I pass junctions heading steadily downhill.  This is another very quiet lane and I see even less cars that I did on the lane up from Great Torrington.  In Weare Gifford I turn right and follow the road as it leads through the village.  Just after passing a playing field I stop on a stone bench for lunch whilst enjoying a fine view of the River Torridge.

Resuming my walk I stay with the road leading through the village to reach Holy Trinity church, which was built in the 13th century and enlarged in the 15th century.

Back on the road I continue through the village and soon get a fine view of the Halfpenny Bridge spanning the River Torridge.  Built in 1835 the bridge apparently gets its name from the toll fee that was payable to cross.

At a junction of roads I turn left and cross the Halfpenny Bridge to reach the houses dotted around Annery Kiln.  The place derives its name from the large lime kiln that was built here as part of the Annery Estate.  The cottages were built to house the kiln workers. Its location was chosen to be  close to the Torridge at the furthest navigable point on the tidal estuary.  Later, in 1827 when the Rolle Canal was built that served as the transportation point for the limestone and coal required in the kiln.

After passing under a disused railway bridge I join the Tarka Trail besides the A386 and head in a southerly direction towards Great Torrington.

The route is easy to follow and I stay with the Tarka Trail crossing the River Torridge on a couple of occasions.

On reaching the old Railway Station I leave the Tarka Trail and cross the road, turning left to walk up the hill on the pavement besides the A386 returning to my starting place in the car park.  It has been a fine day out, despite doing a lot of walking on tarmac the lanes have been quiet and there have been some good views.

To follow this walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map OL 139 – Bideford Ilfracome and Barnstable

You can view this 12  mile walk on OS Maps and download the GPX File Here (Subscription to OS Maps Required)

23th April 2021

© Two Dogs and an Awning (2021)

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