Local Walks, Footpaths and West Woods

Thank you to Mary Spender who supplied an interesting walk around Lockeridge and Fyfield, highlighting
the many items of local historical interest.

This circular walk of 4.6 miles (7.4 km) is good in any season.  It starts at the Who d’a Thought It pub, and after an interesting stroll down the middle of Lockeridge  - a Conservation Area  - takes you up to West Woods and then back via the southern edge of Fyfield.  The Woods will be muddy in winter, a mass of bluebells and fresh green trees in spring, pretty with wild flowers and butterflies in summer, and gloriously coloured in autumn.



It will take about1½ hours (or 2 hrs + on the longer walk, which has more road walking so is probably unsuitable for small children). 

 

Time

Route

Note (see details overleaf)

 

00

Start at the Who d’a, turn R out of car park, walk along road to the Green.

1.    Pound House 

2.    Meux estate houses 

3.    Masons Arms

 

5 mins

 

 

 

25 mins

At end of Green go through gate on right to visit Dene . . .

 

Return via gate, cross road, go through gate and up bridleway signed “Huish” to your left.

Continue up, keeping to L side of field, passing several fine oak trees, at top go through 5-bar gate into Woods, continue straight on. The path narrows but leads straight down to a hardcore track with a triangle copse on the R, cross over and continue down to Hursley Bottom.  

4.    What is a Dene?

5.    Grey Wethers. 

OR……

Walk through Dene and go up slope to go behind the far cottage (The Lacket); go through gate, and L down slope and along to the far end to gate facing road, opposite Greenlands Farm. 

6. The Lacket 

 

Go through gate, turn right and walk on road until you reach sign for bridleway pointing uphill to woods on your L.

.

 

 

30mins

Follow bridleway up hill (beware: can have nettles)

7.     Boundary track. 

8.     At top, fine views. 

 

Follow path round to left

9. Sarsen Boundary stone deep in corner 

 

When you enter woods, follow path as it heads to the right, keeping field and fir trees on R, with bank on L. At end of field, turn L and follow wide bridleway until it meets the hard core track 

 

 

Join hardcore track and continue till it forks at small triangle; take R fork and immediately turn R down hill towards Hursley Bottom. 

(or take L fork and hard L track for quick return to village via Spud Lane)

 10. Badger setts on left.

 

60mins

On reaching clearing at bottom, turn L. Join hard core track, bending R then L along track (heading N/NE along valley bottom); pass X rds with bridleway signs, continue straight over.

11. Good picnic site.

 

At next main junction leave hardcore track bending up to L and go straight on. At next cross roads, look for remains of mossy stone wall to your left. Bend left with path keeping remains of wall on L. 

12. Mossy Sarsen stone

wall 

 

At next sign, fork L; follow this path, with field on L, until it hits the road.

 

 

Turn L on to road and then R at Lockeridge sign on to bridleway down cottage drive; go through garden gate, continue down hill.

13. Wildlife and gate posts. 

 

Carry straight on along lane past sewage farm on right to bridge.

14.                Original Roman crossing, 

15.                Drowners cottage.

2hrs  walk or

2.5 family

speed

 

Follow road round workshops and take footpath on L, through 2 sets of kissing gates, back towards Lockeridge through fields. Go through garden gate and along cottage drive on to road, opposite Lockeridge House.  Turn L, follow road back to Pub.

16.                Can turn R up lane to   St Nicholas Church. 

17.                Route of Roman Rd.

18.                Humps & bumps on L after 2nd kissing gate  19. Lockeridge House

                                                                                                                                                                 

 

                               

                                                   Points of Interest

 

1.       Pound House: site of communal holding pen for pigs.  After they had been brought down from grazing on the Downs they were held until picked up by their owners.

 

2.       Meux Estate houses: Note the distinctive Arts and Crafts decorative features of these Victorian estate workers’ houses.  Designed by Charles Ponting, the Meux Estate architect.

 

3.       Masons Arms: the original pub in the village

 

4.       What is a Dene?   Comes from the Old English ‘denu’ meaning a valley.

 

5.       Grey Wethers: for full explanation read the notice at the gate.

 

6.       The Lacket: visited by Bloomsbury Group, including Lytton Strachey and also by the widow of Cpt Scott of Antarctica (see plaque in West Overton Church).  Here Vanessa Bell and Virginia Wolf were noted to have “leapt into the Box hedge with sensual abandon”!

 

7.       Boundary Track: This track denotes an ancient boundary which continues to divide two properties today.

 

8.       Fine Views: across Downs to Four Mile Clump, Totterdown, Wroughton and Delling copses.

 

9.       Sarsen boundary stone: On the bend of the track, is marked HM – Henry Meux, owner of the Estate, 1870-1906.

 

10.    Badger setts: can be seen on your left and, in spring, carpets of Blue Bells.

 

11.    Good picnic site: Hursley bottom is the site of an ancient grazing ground, at the cross roads of very ancient pathways. Possible derivation “horses’ lea”.

 

12.    Mossy Sarsen stonewall: can be seen on your left is thought to be Saxon, denoting parish boundaries and field enclosures.

 

13.    Wildlife and gateposts: Signs of foxes and badgers, Sarsen gate posts half way down on right in hedge.

 

14.    Roman crossing: This is where the original Roman road crossed the Kennet. 

 

15.    Drowner’s cottage: The Drowner operated the sluice gates to irrigate the ‘water meadows’ to keep them frost free for early spring grass growth.

 

16.    St Nicholas Church: turn R up lane for optional visit to Fyfield Church built in 1634 on the site of 13th century church.

 

17.    Route of Roman Road: can be seen in the shape of field on the right. 

 

Humps & bumps: on the left after second kissing gate denote mediaeval settlements.

 

18.    Lockeridge House – used as a hunting lodge by the Dukes of Marlborough who owned ‘Overton’ in the 18th century.

 


Subpages (2): Footpaths West Woods