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Details

  • Start: St Mary’s, Corscombe car park, by kind permission of Rev. David Harknett. An envelope donation into the Vicarage porch would be much appreciated
  • End: St Mary’s, Corscombe car park
  • Country: England
  • County: Dorset
  • Type: Country
  • Nearest pub: The Fox in Corscombe for real ale and bar meals
  • Ordnance Survey: OS Landranger Sheets 194
  • Difficulty: Medium
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Description

Edward Griffiths enjoys a walk that features two lovely churches, ancient woodland and lush meadows in this historic corner of north-west Dorset

Dorset Walk for August, number 1 - Corscombe and West Chelborough



Edward Griffiths enjoys a walk that features two lovely churches, ancient woodland and lush meadows in this historic corner of north-west Dorset


When I finished writing my introduction to this delightful walk, I thought it was rather good. But then I found something that Sir Frederick Treves had written a hundred years ago, and it was infinitely better: West Chelborough is a village so far from the haunts of men that the visit of a stranger causes some unrest. It is a delectable little place, beautifully bestowed. The ancient church is very quaint; there are many old memorials on the wall, adorned for the most part with village poetry. Inside St Andrews theres the exquisitely sculptured Kymer altar tomb with a sleeping lady and child enveloped in a species of down quilt, and the 1715 plaque to Elizabeth Greenham is a poetic warning to the unprepared.


Of St Marys in Corscombe, Treves said: This handsome building is placed high up on the side of the hill, at the foot of which lies the village. Its situation is exceedingly fine. St Marys is certainly old; it was rebuilt in the 15th century and again in 1878.


This walk is centred on these two lovely churches, and passes through ancient woods and over grassy meadows and high fields with superlative views. Enjoy it without haste and soak up the increasingly rare peace and quiet in this historic north-west corner of Dorset.


Information


Distance: 3 miles (6km)


Time: 3 hours


Exertion: Moderate


Start: St Marys, Corscombe car park, by kind permission of Rev. David Harknett. An envelope donation into the Vicarage porch would be much appreciated


Map: OS Landranger Sheets 194


Public transport: None


Terrain: Alternating quite strenuous ascents in fields and country tracks and easy downhill strolls.


Dogs: On leads in fields with livestock and along lanes


Refreshments: The Fox in Corscombe for real ale and bar meals



The Walk


1 From the car park, walk back down to the lane and turn right. At the T-junction, turn left for Corscombe. Pass right Church Farm cottages, Woodfold View and the 2002 Golden Jubilee stone. Reaching white-rendered Pines Cottage, opposite thatched stone Popes Cottage, take the unsigned right fork grass track. In 50 yards, dont miss the right footpath-pointered path into the field. Follow the right edge down to the corner and over the footpath-arrowed footbridge under bushes to the multi-arrowed footpath-post. Fork right into the trees and to the footpath half-gate into another field.


2 Follow the right hedge, with a new left wood, to the footpath-gate onto the track which passes left Corscombe Court and Tithe Barn. Dating back to at least the late 13th century, Corscombe Court was formerly a grange of Sherborne Abbey and still has its moat on the north side. At the lane, cross into Norwood Lane, ignoring the left footpath pointers. Pass Chafyns Grove and continue along the hedged lane, passing The Fox Cricket Ground left. Arriving at white Norwood Cottage, ignore the right arrowed paths and take the pointered footpath-fork passing right of Norwood Cottage into a wood. Passing the left footpath-arrow post, continue through the wood to the footpath-arrowed fence. Over this, walk straight across the field to the footpath half-gate under trees. Through this, cross the footpath-arrowed stream bridge and ascend half-left to the gate into another field.


3 Walk straight across, left of electricity wires, to the half-gate into a wood. Meander through to the half-gate into the field. Cross, right of the wires, to the footpath-gate into a higher field. Bear -right up to the footpath-gate onto a track into some barns. Bear left round the barns and follow the gravel track past a long cottage onto the tarmac drive under trees. Pass elegant stone-built Church Manor House on your left and visit St Andrews Church, West Chelborough. The church dates back to the 12th century, and the south tower was added in 1638. Now, continue down the hedged lane before rising past right Manor Farm and cottages to the sharp left bend. Here, take the facing footpath and bridleway-arrowed concrete track.


4 Ascending and bending onto a gravel track, the views are truly magnificent before, with flanking trees, the track continues over and down to a facing gate. Dont go through, but take the right track down to a gate onto a terrace with a left hedge above a low field with more tremendous views over north Dorset into south Somerset. Descend slightly to another gate into another high field, and follow the left hedge to another gate into a hedged track. Continue to an unsigned five-ways footpath and bridleway junction. Go left up the sunken track, emerging at a gates junction with a Hardy Way (H/W) arrow. Here, bend right along the farm track.


5 Go straight through the farmyard onto the road, opposite Newhouse Farm. Turn left. In 300 yards, after a solitary right oak tree, take the right footpath-stile into the field corner. Aim half-right down to the H/W gate in the right hedge. Through this, walk down to the last electricity post with footpath and H/W arrows, and down to the H/W gate under trees. Through here, turn right along the track, rising under trees, then sunken. Past a left bridleway turning, follow the stone wall to left St Marys Church where you started.

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