Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Leicestershire Round part 3. Frisby to Burrough Hill

Day three of our hike around the Leicester Round began at Frisby Church where the last walk finished. Leaving the village by the old village cross we climbed up towards to main Leicester Melton Road. A daring crossing later and it was due south straight on to Gaddesby.
The view to the west offered a glimpse of Bradgate Park from where we had come. It was still close enough to see Old John, but by the end of the walk the whole park was just a distant hill.
The view to the east was briefly open enough to see our destination. The Jurassic ridge with Burrough Hill fort on it (Behind the left pylon in this picture) was slowly rising up above the Wreake Valley.
After endless fields of maturing rape seed, we eventually reached Gaddesby. the church spire didn't pop into view until we were nearly there.
Inside the truly ancient church at Gaddesby is this unique statue of Colonel Cheney loosing his fourth horse to gunfire during the battle of Waterloo. This was a good spot for lunch.
On leaving Gaddesby the trek eastwards was long and hot. The fields changed from meadow to Oil seed rape quickly. In this part of Leicestershire every village is surrounded by ridge and furrow. Coming across ridge and furrow was a positive sign, indicating that the journey was either over, or that a pub was at hand.
Speaking of Pubs, there is a cracking one at Ashby Folville. The towered church (above) was not prominent and the village appears almost surprisingly. After a quick refreshment it was off again eastward across fields of sheep pasture towards the village of Thorpe Satchville.

The path goes under this dismantled railway and then into the village. The chapel yard offering a nice place to sit and have a sandwich. The pub marked on my map was disappointingly a closed French Restaurant.
The path leaves Thorpe Satchville and heads eastwards towards the hillfort. The view to the south shows Whatborough Hill on the left and Colborough Hill to the top right of the cow.
Descending Salters hill revealed the awesome Burrough Hill Fort. Its iron age ramparts rising high above the valley. A truly impressive sight and a daunting climb on a hot day.
Climbing up Burrough Hill gives us one last look west to the distant Charnwood hills. Bradgate Park is almost indistinguishable from here.
The Jurassic ridge rises above the plains of Leicestershire. Billesdon Coplow or Life Hill as it is sometimes known (the tree covered hill on the horizon to the right of this picture) marks a local westerly projection of this ridge.
From above the fort the ramparts are still impressive. This fort was the central defensive capitol of the Coritani tribe. Negotiations with the road building Romans led to a bridge being built over the river Sour down at place the Romans called Ratae Coritanorum, or Leicester as we know it today.
An information sign shows what the fort would have looked like 2000 years ago. A good place to stop for the day.

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