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4th July – Buntingford 6.5 mile circular

Event led by Colin A
Attendance: 11
Distance: 6.53 miles (10.5km)
Time: start 11:18, end 14:37, lunch 28 minutes
Terrain: woodland, footpaths, bridleways, farm tracks and road.
Elevation: start 97m, high 130m, low 86m
Weather: partly cloudy with rain showers, 17-19°C
Number of sewage work: 0
Number of churches: 3
Number of golf courses: 0

This was a joint walk with Hertfordshire/Cambridgeshire groups from historical market town of Buntingford via Wyddial and Alswick.

Buntingford is in East Hertfordshire and lies on the river Rib and on the Roman road 'Ermine Street.' It was mainly a staging post with many coaching inns and has an 18th-century one-cell prison known as The Cage, by the ford. Presently, it is Hertfordshire's smallest town. The town has many Georgian and medieval buildings. Buntingford was a stop-over on what was the main route between London and Cambridge, now the A10.

Buntingford was traditionally located within the parish of Layston – St Bartholomew's Church, previously derelict and now a private residence with tombstones, lies about half a mile to the north-east of the town. St Peter's Church, formerly a relief chapel, is the Anglican church in Buntingford and is an almost unique brick building from the age of the 17th-century.

Yew Tree Alpacas is a small rural business based in East Hertfordshire. The business is based on a herd of approx. 50 alpacas, they were watching us pass by their enclosures.

Wyddial is a village located around a mile and a half north-east of Buntingford. The place name is first attested in the Domesday book of 1086, where it appears as Widihale, and means 'willow nook'. The parish church of St. Giles dates from the 14th century when the nave was built. The tower and chancel date from the 15th century.

Wyddial Hall is a Grade II listed building, which was originally built in the early 16th century. The hall is situated just north of the church and has access via the churchyard. In 1733 it was remodelled after a damaging fire. The Hall was used as accommodation for the Land Army during the 1939-45 war.

Alswick Hall was originally built in the 16th century to provide regular accommodation for Queen Elizabeth I. Sadly, by the start of 20th century it was in a dilapidated condition. Work on restoring the original Tudor feature bean in 1945 and after a fire in 1965, the owner restored the property and its 50 acres.

On the walk we were blessed from above with liquid sunshine on a couple of occasions. On arriving back to Buntingford we were all baptized within metres from the end.

This provided an opportunity to invest in the local communities Coffee Shop.


4th July - Buntingford 6.5 mile circular

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