Kingsland

10:21am Monday 21st December 2009

By Julie Royle

KINGSLAND sits in the valley of the Lugg, a meandering river lined by willows and alders. The village is crammed with lovely houses and the large size of the 13th century church suggests that Kingsland may once have been a more important place than it is today, an impression confirmed by a series of earthworks, including the remains of a substantial motte-and-bailey castle, in fields near the church.

You’ll pass through the earthworks on the final path of this walk, with the motte clearly visible in the neighbouring field. The castle is early Norman, but the Romans came this way several centuries earlier and left their own mark on the landscape in the shape of Hereford Lane, which you’ll cross early on in the walk.

Nearby Mortimer’s Cross was the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Wars of the Roses, when, in 1461, 19-year-old Edward Mortimer, son of the Earl of March, defeated a Lancastrian army led by the Earl of Pembroke. Leaving four to five thousand dead, Mortimer marched south, unopposed, to London, where he was crowned Edward IV.

Mortimer’s Cross is also known for its 18th-century watermill which is in part-working order and managed by English Heritage.

However, it’s not open very often, just Sundays and bank holidays from April to September.

FACT FILE

Start: Kingsland, on the B4360 NW of Leominster, grid ref SO444615.

Length: Eight-and-a-half miles/13.5km.

Maps: OS Explorer 203, OS Landranger 149.

Terrain: Arable, pasture, orchard, woodland, quiet lanes, mostly flat.

Footpaths: Generally good, but with several exceptions. Waymarking is poor in places, three paths have been over-cropped with brassicas and some stiles are overgrown by hedging plants.

Stiles: 25.

Parking: Kingsland, with consideration for the villagers.

Public transport: Train to Leominster (or go by bus, either via Hereford or Kidderminster and Ludlow) then bus 493/494/495/496/497 to Kingsland, Mon-Sat only; herefordbus.info or 0871 2002233, or 08457 484950 for rail enquiries.

Refreshments: Angel Inn, Corners Inn and Village Green Coffee Shop at Kingsland; Mortimer’s Cross Inn at Mortimer’s Cross.

DIRECTIONS

1 Walk north-west along the main street (B4360), towards Mortimer’s Cross, then take a path on the left after Summerfield.

Cross a field then turn right through further fields, orchards and woodland to a road (A4110).

Turn right, ignore branching lanes but take the next footpath on the left. Walk through fields on an easily followed path to Hereford Lane.

2 Cross the lane and continue through another field, then through orchards. When the path is blocked by trees, turn right, then very soon left (not quite as shown on OS maps). Turn right at the next junction, then immediately left, passing to the right of farm buildings, then follow the left-hand hedge to a lane (little more than a track really) at Pencombestone.

Turn right and walk to Hereford Lane. Turn left to meet the A4110 near Mortimer’s Cross.

3 Cross the road to a path opposite and go diagonally to the far corner of a field. Turn right on the B4362, cross the river Lugg then take the right-hand one of two adjacent paths on the right, loosely following the river for 200m to find a fence-mounted map showing the route of a permissive path, available until October 31, 2018 under Defra’s ‘countryside stewardship’ scheme. Stay on the right of way if you prefer, or turn right on the permissive path (recommended), closely following two loops of the meandering river before rejoining the right of way.

Continue along the valley, following the general course of the river but not each loop.

4 Go diagonally up a slope, guided by a line of four trees, to pass to the left of a riverside wood. Pass to the right of another wood, Tars Coppice, then descend diagonally to a field corner. Closely follow a channel of the Lugg (a millstream), then pass Kingsland Mill House and Lugg Mill, ignore another path on the left and proceed to a lane.

5 Turn left then take the first path on the right, walking through fields to a lane. Turn right through Aston, then left towards Eyton.

Pass Gilbert’s Farm, Eyton Old Hall and Carpenters Cottage. After this there’s a 200m gap before you come to more houses – pass the final one then go through a gate on the right - there’s no signage or waymarking of any kind here.

6 Go diagonally right to the far field corner. Turn right along a floodbank, cross the Lugg at a suspension bridge and turn right.

Follow a floodbank then enter woodland and turn left. Ignore an obvious track and keep left by the woodland edge to find access to a field. Go diagonally to the far side and turn right along the edge until you can join a track. Pass Mousenatch Farm and proceed into Kingsland. Just before Orchard Close take a path on the left. Walk to the far side of the churchyard then across a field to a lane. Turn right to the main street.

Worcester News recommends the use of OS Explorer Maps, your ideal passport to navigating the countryside.

This walk is based on OS Explorer 203.

Back

© Copyright 2001-2017 Newsquest Media Group

Worcester News: Site Logo http://www.worcesternews.co.uk

Click 2 Find Business Directory http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/trade_directory/