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09 July 2022: 7C’s, Chorleywood and the Chess Valley, Hertfordshire

Event led by Khris R.
Attendance: 12 men.
Distance: 12.2 miles (19.7 km).
Time: start 11:10, end 17:15, lunch 39 minutes.
Speed: moving arithmetic average 2.56 mph (4.13 kph).
Terrain: pavement, road, woodland track, field & field edge on footpaths and bridleways.
Elevation: low 63m, high 114m, start 109m, 5 steep upward gradients each <300m long, longest downward gradient 2.8km (descent from 143m to 74m).
Weather: clear skies, 24°C per weather forecast, car reported 28°C on return, light northerly breeze.
Number of sewage works: 0.
Number of churches: 5.
Number of golf courses: ½.

 

This was a circular walk of 12.2 miles (19.7 km), from Chorleywood common, N to Chipperfield, W to Flaunden, S to Chenies, then SE to Chorleywood.

Features included:

  • Chorleywood village fair, a large number of stalls on the common, ranging from specialist food products, arts and crafts and fairground entertainments. We avoided all temptations to stop.
  • Chorleywood House Estate, an estate of 170 acres. The house (grade II listed) was built by a wealthy banker in 1822, sold by his sons in 1892, owned by a relative of the Duke of Bedford and eventually sold to the public sector in June 1940, now owned by Three Rivers District Council. (wiki)(council)
  • The River Chess (association website)(wiki)
  • Commonwood House (an unlisted building!). A bizarre example of architectural fakery, built in 1932 in mock Tudor style (source), now converted into a series of privately-owned apartments. The house was allegedly the venue at which the then political undesirables partied and plotted during the 1930s to 1940s.
  • Chipperfield cricket pitch: a match was expected, but was called off at short notice.
  • Lots of woodland, providing cover against the sun, but at the expense of a few short, steep gradients. Except for one footpath bearing SSW with high hedgerows: this was like walking an oven.
  • Chenies Manor House (grade I listed), built in 1460 by Sir John Cheyne to become the seat of the Duke of Bedford and subsequently hosted royal visitors. Its status fell from palace to manor. The property is now privately-owned by a single family and trades as a venue with gardens. (wiki)

Churches:

Golf courses:

The optional pub stop was at the Rose & Crown Chorleywood, at which 9 members attended.

 

Words by Martin Thornhill. Pictures by Peter O’Connor.

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