Kirby Hall in afternoon sun
The manor house 'was pulled down in 1745 by Lionel, Earl of Dysart, who had other estates to maintain. No trace remains above ground - the stone may have been used in building houses, cottages and walls in the village. A stone pillar from one of the gateposts now stands in the middle of Desborough. Maybe, someday, it will find its way back to Harrington.
. . .
The site of the old manor house is called 'The Falls' with the 'Park' adjoining. An avenue of elm trees lined a carriage drive to the village road but sadly, due to their great age and the onset of dutch elm disease, they were all felled in the 1960s.
The Falls has the remains of terraces, fishponds and a sunken garden, which may have had a fountain. This was laid out by Sir Lionel Tollemache who married Lady Elizabeth Stanhope and inherited the estate in 1675. It is now listed as an historical archaeological site.
The fishponds were constructed to supply fresh fish to the monastic house. Eel, bream. pike and perch were bred in a series of ponds of varying sizes fed by channels. Traces of ridge and furrow, remains of the medieval farming system can still be seen.
'enclosure of gates. Burrough church spire is straight ahead of you.Walk downhill with the hedge and isolated trees still on your right.
Cross a grassy track which leads to the ruins of a little brick house on your left and go over the fence ahead of you.Continue down the steep hill, moving slightly away from the hedge on your right. In the bottom left corner of the field there is a flimsy plank bridge over the stream. You need to cross a rather boggy path of grass to reach it. Make your way up the hill passing to the left an isolated telegraph pole to reach the top left corner of the field. A stile here, close to a telegraph pole, leads into a narrow jitty between houses. Emerge on the main road in Burrough at the footpath sign.'
|Ye'll tak' the low road . . .|
|. . .an' I'll tak' the high road|
The path is easy to follow, keeping along the side of the hill above the stream, past Springfield Hall, and a path which goes off to the right, then losing height towards the old railway line and station buildings.
After we'd crossed the old railway line we went through a field of sheep
and climbed gently upwards towards the village of Lowesby.
The path was not hard to find. It leads past Lowesby Hall, magnificently situated, with a ha-ha, and avenue of trees.
This picture was taken in July 2008 - and I realise it's skew!
We went to the left of these trees and soon crossed a minor road. The path runs fairly close to the stream then goes slightly to the right, uphill above a spinney. It crosses the Midshires Way, passes Bell Dip Farm, crosses another three fields before meeting another minor road and continuing towards South Croxton, whose church spire can be seen ahead briefly and then to the right.
We walked past a pond, with ducks and water lilies, and a kayak, then through a small wooded area, and into the village. Our way was along King Street, left at the Golden Fleece pub, then downhill to a convenient seat near the bridge.
Our path was just before the bend in the road, off to the left.
We climbed gradually, with a good view of South Croxton on our left,
In a while we turned left towards the enormous Waterloo Lodge Farm buildings. The path goes to the right of the farm and joins the farm road just after the buildings. We followed this to the minor road just above Baggrave Hall and deserted mediaeval village, which we could see below us on the left.
When the road bent to the right, our path continued ahead. Some of this path was enclosed between two hedges. It eventually came out at a private road, and continued on the other side, forming part of the Midshires Way. After a short downhill section we had to turn right and walk up to the deserted mediaeval village of Cold Newton before crossing the corner of the village and walking down through fields to the disused railway line again. After the railway line the path turns diagonally left and akes its way up a final pull towards Tilton . . .
and across this field where the chickens followed us all.
Map and details