Winsford Hill and Caratacus Stone

Back in March 2016 Lynnie and I did a short walk from Winsford up and around the Punchbowl. At the time I was not bagging trig points so we did not make a detour to visit the trig on Winsford Hill.  Today I plan to add this trig to my collection.

My walk starts from the village car park opposite the garage; from here I cross the bridge and then turn right to go over the footbridge besides the ford.

From the ford it is gradual climb up the road, passing below the church.  At a fingerpost to Winsford Hill via the Punchbowl I turn left and follow the yellow way markers along a path before passing through a number of fields of pasture.

The route skirts above Withycombe Farm before dropping through the farmyard and then crosses Winn Brook.

The path now starts to head uphill with the great views of the Punchbowl.

It is a long gradual haul up this hill, a good test for the lungs and legs.  The rewards are some stunning views.

As the path levels out I continue straight on, leaving the rim of the punchbowl, to head towards the B3223 and then turn right to follow a path besides the road for a few hundred yards before turning right and walking across to the trig point on top of Winsford Hill.  This is the 129thtrig I have bagged.

From the trig I retrace my steps the short distance to reach the B3223 and I cross to continue on a faint path opposite until I reach a clear track where I turn right heading in a westerly direction.

I am now walking into the wind and drizzle but the cloud is high enough to provide good views.

As I near a minor road close to Comer’s Gate I turn left and head southeasterly on a faint footpath across the moor.

At a junction of paths by a way-marker I continue straight on, the path soon follows the hedge line at the edge of the moor and goes through a couple of boggy areas to reach a gate.

Heading through the gate I follow a farm track to reach Knaplock with its collection of old farm buildings.

I ignore a path on the right heading towards the River Barle and Tarr Steps, instead I stay on the farm track to pass Higher Knaplock. The farm track now heads steadily uphill to pass a Meteorological Station.  There has been recent work on cutting back the beech hedge.  It looks severe but this is the traditional approach to maintaining the steep tree lined banks.

The track passes through a gate to reach a minor road. With the moor on my left I continue to head steadily uphill to reach Spire Cross.

Crossing the road I head in an easterly direction to reach the Caratacus Stone.

Apparently the Caratacus Stone dates from the 6thcentury, it is covered in a stone shelter built in 1906.  It is thought from the Latin inscription on the stone that it represents an ancestor of Caratacus, he was the son of Cunobelinus said to be the greatest king of Iron Age England.  Caratacus led the rebellion against the Romans in 47-51 AD before being captured in a battle thought to have taken place near Llanymynech close to Oswestry, in 51AD.   The stone was removed in 1937 to see if there was a grave beneath, but nothing was found.

My walk continues by heading southeast along the hedge line of a moorland area marked on the map as the Allotment. I stay on a path close to the hedge as it sweeps round to join a farm track.

Now I stay on the track, heading east to reach a kissing gate into a field of pasture.  The path continues across the field to join another footpath close to an open gateway.  The footpath now turns to the left and follows a steep narrow path downhill.

Soon the path enters trees with a brook running down to my left.

On reaching a footbridge close to the isolated Yellowcombe Cottage I cross the brook.

The route now heads uphill on a narrow track, Yellowcombe Lane, soon passing the ruins of buildings.

I now head steadily uphill and at the summit follow the track as it sweeps to the left to head downhill towards Winsford.

On reaching a tarmac road I turn right into the village, passing the Royal Oak Inn to reach the car park. My walk has covered nine and half enjoyable miles.

To view this 9.5 mile walk on OS Maps Click Here

To follow this walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure Map OL9 – Exmoor

25th January 2019

© Two Dogs and an Awning (2019)

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