Friday, 6 March 2015

  This walk was meant to be a repeat of  "Convents and Causeways, Sept 2012" but there were diversions, mainly because I had the map but not my glasses.
The walk starts at St. John the Baptist church in the village of Edlingham. To get there from base take the A1 north, the familiar A697 at Morpeth and turn right some miles up the road at the signpost saying Edlingham. Turn left into the village and turn right down the lane to the church. There is limited parking on the verge. Take a map, OS Explorer 332 Alnwick and Amble and the church is at NU114090.
There are six gadies ou today, Ben, Brian, Dave, Ray, John H and me. Some had a bacon sandwich at the Running Fox in Felton, an interesting newsagents and cafe, so popular some of us gave up waiting.
The church in Edlingham dates back to the Norman Conquest and  has a squat pyramid shaped  tower.
Edlingham village church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist. Some parking on the left of the gate.

The walk:
We walked back from the church and up the hill that is the village main street until we saw the sign post for Birsley Wood. The path follows the edge of the wood before reaching a minor road at Birsley Woodside. Beyond this small farm a sign on the left indicating a public footpath sent us across fields to the stretch of the Roman road known as "The Devil's Causeway".  No paving anymore but easy to follow across the fields.
The Devil's Causeway. As a Roman road shouldn't it be straight?
Leaving the causeway we headed downhill towards the stream, first mistake, we were off the path but wandered slowly alongside the stream until we came to the dismantled railway, turned right and headed towards a small house. At the house we turned left and walked along the road past the site of a Roman fort in the field on the right. There is nothing to see of the fort at this level, perhaps as well, we would have been admiring stones for a long time. At the end of the farm road we turned right up the road marked Garmintedge Bank until we came to a crossroads. Second mistake. As map holder I said we should turn right and so we did (See map) heading south until we reached Hill Head. Turning left through the farm we decdided on a Herbie Spot and settled behind a wall to keep out of the wind. We were joined by a small dog and the lady of the farm who suggested we take him for a walk.
Today's treats included Ben's Ginger biscuits, Oat and chocolate bars, McVities flapjacks, Mrs. A's apple cake and a piece of O Henry chocolate and peanut bar that had travelled all the way from Edmonton, Alberta (183 pounds).
Lunch over we headed east down hill. The path crosses an old and disused railway tunnel, the air shafts are still visible.
                                                   Air shaft over the old railway tunnel.
At the bottom of the hill the footpath led us across a stream to Lemmington Mill and from there we followed the road to 18th century Lemmington Hall and an interesting collection of cottages which appeared to be holiday lets.

Could it have been a small chapel once?
Walking away fro the hall in a north east direction we soon came to a road, turned right and walked uphill to Broome Wood Farm. On the right a track took us below the strange looking Lemmington Branch, another 18th century creation, part folly part farmhouse.
                                         Lemmington Branch
After crossing a couple of fields we entered Lemmington Wood. The footpath took us past this strange object:
                                                      Not clearly visible in the picture, the word "Paradise"
Out of the wood we turned right and crossed the field in front of Lemmington Hall. In the field is a column dedicated to James Evelyn and constructed and erected in Surrey in 1786. On the lower parts of the column are what appear to be prayers and a serpent swallowing its tail which, as you all know, is an 18th century symbol of eternity.
                                           James Evelyn's column brought here in 1928

Near the column are what appear to be three headstones, engraved with initials and a date.
                                                         ? (any ideas are welcome)
At the bottom of the slope, which consists of deep "ridge and furrow"  markings, enough to make you seasick, we were back at the lane above Lemmington Mill.
                                                 Ridge and Furrow
                                                         Lemmington Hall, again
We followed the track (signposted) across fields to Edlingham, approaching the village by way of the old railway viaduct and the castle.
                                      Disused viaduct, what a pretty  line this must have been
                                            Edlingham Castle, built at the end of the 13th century
                                               Back to St. Johns, the old roof line visible on the tower.
Not surprisingly we stopped at the Anglers Arms, Weldon Bridge on the way home, Black Sheep Bitter, Directors and Speckled Hen, always a good selection.
Actually I think the second error made for a more interesting walk out, not everyday you see old air shafts or entertain a dog at dinnertime. Sadly I have forgotten the pun of the day, it will be added should I remember.

The Matrix MMXV    H
                                                                      steps                                miles
LIDL3D                                                        22429                             10.19
Dave's LIDL3D                                            22227                              11.1
Dave's USB                                                  22095                               11.95
OUTDOOR GPS                                                                                   9.52
Brian                                                                                                      9.72
Ben                                                                                                        9.4
Ray                                                                                                        9.5
Contains OS Data Copyright. Crown Copyright and database right 2015