2017_05_20 Kirklington

Leader : Ian Bagshaw                               Distance : 8 miles.


Let’s head for the stars (Orion).

As a leader it is often difficult to find a new walk and a new walking area but 25 miles from Darlington lies the ancient village of Kirlington. Just a mile from the A1(M) it is a oasis of tranquillity with a Church (St Michaels) and a pub (The Black Horse Inn – closed on Saturday afternoons) and a Village Hall (more later) and a cricket pitch (where Dave Wade has played cricket). 12 Club members set off down a bridle way past Kirklington Hall (impressive structure) making for Red House Farm. The leader was convinced that his weather forecast was accurate and that there would be no rain before 2 pm. Having gone up the side of a field of barley (Sting) we reached a small copse where we had our elevenses. All around stretched a very rural scene amongst which were gravel pits now full of water. The whole area is part of the larger sacred Neolithic landscape.

We were warned that there would be road walking and at Southwood House we had to follow the road over Lady Bridge and passed water filled gravel pits. We were told to look out for wading birds, waterfowl and gulls. We looked out for speeding cars and we did see 5 swans and some gulls but redshanks seemed to be having a day off. Having survived the road walk we arrived in the pretty village of Thornborough. Not much to say about Thornborough apart from there is a house selling eggs and a couple of children in a garden playing a very rough game of football. The place of real interest is Thornborough Henges which is described by English Heritage as the most important ancient site between Stonehenge and the Orkneys – surprising that they have not got a box up to sell admission tickets!! There are three henges which were constructed from the earth of 2 ditches – one dug around the outside of the henge and the other excavated inside. They were covered in gypsum to make them appear white.There has been a suggestion that orientation of the 3 henges was similar to Orions belt – the blind hunter. It is considered to be a sacred landscape and there are claimed to be interesting flowers. We took an early lunch and then set of from the central henge to continue our walk beside the most southerly henge.

The weather remained fair as we went in the direction of the Hambleton hills along a further bridle way. A right turn and after fields this took us to the village of Sutton Howgarve. Another couple of fields and we reached Berryfields Farm – the home of Heck Sausages!!

Not far now until we crossed the main road and followed Whitecross Hills Lane past St Michaels Church and back into Kirklington. Passing the Village Hall the more observant noted that it was just starting to rain and also that there was a notice advertising Afternoon Teas in the hall. Always keen on a good cup of Yorkshire Tea the leader made for the village hall whilst others made for the next village where the pub was said to be open. The tea and freshly baked fare was excellent and no doubt the beer at the pub was just as good.

8.2 miles . The Leader is going to explore Nosterfiled which is where the most northerly henge is to be found – just behind the Freemasons pub apparently .