and occasionally rides a bike.
A word of warning. The walk descriptions are not detailed enough to guide you - please take a map. The batteries never run out, and you always have a signal. Oh, And don't take left or right as gospel!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Gretton to Brigstock

With Barry and Gordon. Weather dry, cloudy. Chilly wind until we warmed up.

Part of Mel Jarvis's Around Corby walk, but clockwise. 
From Gretton we walked along Southfield Road (opposite the village hall) and down the track labelled on the map in my link as 'Fullen Lane'. All the way to the gate at the end, and through the steep field downhill - full of cows which were not too disturbed by us.  The four-stile section at the bottom was not muddy - we've had a dry summer.  Up the hill to the stile at the top and down to the gate next to the way in to Kirby Hall. 

One of the peacocks was standing by the gift shop door, but didn't deign to perform for us.

We walked up the road past the car park to Kirby Lane, crossed over through the newish gate with its stiff spring and followed the marked footpath downhill, through another gate - easier to open. The path leads down to a brook - the crossing is a muddy mini-scramble since whatever bridge was once there has disappeared. 

The footpath is a bit tricky to follow here, as the area is being redeveloped - we made our way toward the road/path that will become the official route eventually!  We decided to emerge near the roundabout where the A43 meets the road from Weldon (there are three exits).  The path is actually about 200 yards further towards Corby on the A43 - it's easy enough to walk along the verge and turn left along a narrow footpath leading into the village. At this point we had to play shepherd and discourage a sheep from braving the traffic.

Note below from Barry:
I visited the area behind Priors Hall today and found a waymarker pointing right just after we emerged through the wood onto the disused quarry. I never even noticed it. Following that marker we would have joined the gravel path much earlier that we actually did. The final bit which we were on, eventually lead to the A 43 and across the A 43 into Weldon. We turned left there where the sheep was loose and joined the correct way. 
The path turns into Bridge Street, leading to the Oundle Rd.  We diverted slightly along School Lane to see the old lock-up.

Just after the road-narrowing markings on the right hand side is a short footpath leading to the Oundle Road. It leads between the houses and over the brook and crosses Church St to the main road. Here we had to walk uphill alongside the road. The verges are wide enough to walk on though the grass was quite long.

Up and up until we reached Bears Lane, an unsurfaced road to the right which took us past a large house with its own airstrip and wind sock, and towards the woods.  Soon after the house the footpath turns left through the hedge then right. We turned left again to follow the edge of the wood, first more or less east, then, as it turns, south.  We passed a huge rectangular water tank and not long afterwards came to the Bocase stone (see the notes below). 
Next was Bocase Farm with its twin knights, its twin stone lions and eagles.

There are, of course, two of these guarding the entrance
From here the route took us directly down towards Brigstock, though we had to cross the A6116, following Old Dry Lane down to the side of the old factory. 

Note to self: I'm not overly happy with these pics - I think it's partly because the light was rather dull. Maybe I was too impatient as well - the backgrounds to the knights - both too fussy and distracting.

Map and details

Brigstock Woods Trail and info

Bocase Tree and Stone

Monument. Date indeterminate, probably C18. Limestone ashlar. Rectangular slab. Inscription at bottom of slab, "Here Stood Bocase Tree", and inscription at top of slab, "In This Place Grew Bocase Tree". Probably a forest boundary marker. (Markham, C.A., Stone Crosses of Northamptonshire, p.30).

Robin Hood in Corby?
In Corby can be found the magnificent Rockingham Castle - where records show a man called Robyn Hode was imprisoned in 1354. Robin Hood is not normally associated with this part of England, but there is a reference in Dryden’s Memorials Of Old Northamptonshire (1903) to a boundary stone near Brigstock called the Bocase Stone – so called, intriguingly, because Robin himself is said to have hidden his bow and arrows in a tree that once stood at the spot after slaying Sir Hugh de Hanville.

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