Mausoleums, a Deep Well and a Trig Point in the Chilterns

After a couple of days of short walks, today I am heading out for a fifteen-mile walk.  Increasingly I find that at least once a week I need to lace up the boots and head out for a good chunk of the day.  Yesterday evening I spotted a trig point in the area that I have yet to bag, it is about seven miles from Ibstone so perfect for combining with a decent walk.

I leave Cholsey Grange by heading up to Ibstone Common (this would be a suitable alternative start/finish point for the walk if not staying at Cholsey Grange CL).  I head in a southerly direction following the road through Ibstone, passing the village school and then just before reaching Ibstone House turn right on a footpath heading gradually downhill through Park Wood.

At a junction of paths I turn left and then within a few hundred yards take a right and follow the path between a fence line and woods.

The path sweeps to the right still following a fence line to reach a kissing gate

Through the gate the clear path heads steadily downhill through trees and bushes to reach a gate on the edge of Access Land. I turn to the right and walk a short distance to another gate leading to a clear path across a field towards Turville.

On reaching the road in the village I turn left and passing the village church turn right on a lane between cottages.  This lane soon becomes a track and I ignore a path on my left and then one on the right before taking a way marked footpath that cuts diagonally across a field.

On reaching a tarmac lane, Dolesden Lane, I turn right and walk along it for a few hundred yards and then as it sweeps to the right continue straight on to follow a broad track through the base of Poynatts Wood.  I have not previously walked in this area of woodland and on a fine summer afternoon it is a pleasant tranquil spot.

The footpath leads through Kimble Wood to reach a crossing of paths where I turn left and head uphill to cross a minor road.  I carry straight on wandering along a lane that at a bend passes Round House Farm.

Continuing along the lane I pass the site of the now permanently closed Walnut Tree Inn.  The pub was opened in the early 1960’s by the local brewing company Brakspears but closed in 2003 and now stands in a poor state of repair.  The local villagers have fought a long campaign to get the pub re-opened; sadly it still looks like there is a long way to go.

I stay on the lane to reach Fawley Green where there are some convenient benches to stop for lunch.  At the east side of the green is the Victorian village well, it is said to be one of the deepest wells in the Chilterns.  I later read from two separate sources that this well is either 397 feet or 338 feet deep.  Quite deep, having lived close to Salisbury Cathedral for most of my life I judge height and depth against the Cathedral Spire, which as I was taught in school is 404 feet tall.

From the well I go to the west side of the Green and continue on the lane through the village, soon passing the village hall.

A bit further along I come to St Mary’s Church with its attractive flint exterior.  Apparently parts of the church date back to the 12th century, but the tower was added in the 16th century and chancel rebuilt in 1748.  Further restoration work was carried out in the early 1880’s.

In the churchyard are two large mausoleums.  The first I look at apparently dates from 1750 and was constructed as a family tomb by James Freeman of Fawley Court.

The second is housed behind an iron fence and was apparently built out of Aberdeen granite in 1862 by the Mackenzies also of Fawley Court.

I decide to pop my head into the church and am immediately struck by the marble font dating from 1884.

From the churchyard I turn right leaving the village on Dobson’s Lane, at a footpath sign on the right I turn into a farm driveway and take a path that heads by some life size models of cows.

Entering a field the path heads diagonally to a stile, I make a short detour here to follow the fence line to the trig point on the far side of the fence.  This is the 155th trig pillar I have bagged.

Returning to the stile I head steadily downhill across a field and into woodland.  The path goes downhill through the trees and continues on to reach a minor road.  I head downhill into Fawley Bottom and turn right and then at a fork in the road by an attractive cottage go left.

This road leads through woodland before heading steadily uphill to Coxlease Farm; here I follow a footpath up the farm track and then take a footpath on the right leading through farm buildings.  The route now heads along a track on the east side of Almshill Wood, at a junction I turn left and follow the path as it descends steadily through woodland towards Stoner.

On meeting a road I turn left and within a short distance take a footpath on the right between properties.  This leads to an arable field that I cross before entering a field of pasture and head steadily uphill towards Park Wood.  As I get close to the woods I turn to appreciate the view over Stoner Park.

This footpath is part of the Chiltern Way and I follow it through the trees of Park Wood.  Emerging from the trees the path heads across an arable field to reach a junction of footpaths.  I turn right to join the Oxfordshire Way heading north.  I am soon back in woodland descending to a minor road that I cross to enter Pishillbury Wood.

At a junction of paths I keep straight on, still on the Oxfordshire Way and on leaving the trees walk besides a hedge to join a track into Pishill.  I stop briefly in the churchyard so Crosby can have a drink; I recall from previously walking here that there is a dog bowl by a tap just inside the gate of the churchyard.

At a road we turn right and then as it bends to the right take a track on the left.  After passing the boundary of a property I leave the track, and the Oxfordshire Way, to take a footpath heading between a hedge and fence.

I cross a field to reach a track and cross it to continue straight on downhill towards a barn.  At the junction of paths in the bottom of the valley I turn left to follow the way marked footpath towards Turville Park Farm.  Previously when passing this farm I have noticed a number of old vehicles that appear to be in various stages of renovation.   Today there is an old coach, in a barn near the track, which looks in pristine condition.

I stay on the track through Longhill Hanging Wood, and then at a crossing of paths take a right to head north through the trees towards Northend.  This is a cracking bit of woodland.

When the path leaves the trees it continues between arable fields.  At a junction of paths I turn right heading uphill.  The path goes between properties and emerges on a track where I turn right and wander along the side of Northend Common to reach the main village green.

Here I turn left across the green to reach a road that passes a pond to reach a junction. I go straight across on a track that soon reaches a gate into Wormsley Estate.   There are fine views from this path.

The track soon descends steeply towards a junction with an estate road.  I go straight across on a track  heading north between fields.  At a crossing of paths I turn right onto the Chiltern Way walking steadily uphill to go through a gate into woodland.

The next section through the trees is a short sharp ascent to join another footpath; here I stay with the Chiltern Way going uphill to reach a metal gate on the edge of Ibstone Common.  Turning right I reach the open ground of the common and head across towards the cricket pitch.  From here it is only a short walk to the driveway of Cholsey Grange Farm.

It has been an interesting afternoon covering almost fifteen miles, much of it on footpaths I have not previously walked.

You can view this 15 mile walk on OS Maps and download the GPX File Here (Subscription to OS Maps Required)

To follow my walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 171 – Chiltern Hills West

15th August 2019

© Two Dogs and an Awning (2019)





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