Winter walk in Gayton and Grimston

Not too many hills on this walk! Photo: Peter James

Not too many hills on this walk! Photo: Peter James - Credit: Archant

Step out with the Norfolk Ramblers in the west of the county

The church and lych gate. Photo: Peter James

The church and lych gate. Photo: Peter James - Credit: Archant

Parking on Broad Drove there is a small layby and more parking along the verge. Broad Drove is off to the right as you come to the village the post code is for Elder lane but no parking there

Grid reference TF7263 2162

Nearest Post code PE32 1BJ

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The Crown pub opposite the church. Photo: Peter James

The Crown pub opposite the church. Photo: Peter James - Credit: Archant

1 Walk back along Broad Drove towards Grimston as far as the B1153. Carry on straight ahead along the B1153 to the next bend. Turn left along Elder Lane which passes by White House Farm and Elder Farm where the surfaced road gives way to a muddy track. After about a quarter of a mile bear right and in a further 100 yards take the left fork keeping hedges to the left. Cross over a deep ditch and keep left at the next junction. Follow the well-worn path into a wood and cross the stream by a plank bridge. This stream is the embryonic Gaywood River. Continue on the path to the surfaced road by Well Hall Farm. Just to the west lies the site of the medieval village of Well, further proof of the importance of water along this line. Cross the road and continue along this path towards Gayton.

2 At a junction of paths turn right and follow the narrow path into the village and on to the B1145. Turn right along the pavement, past the butchers and chip shops and turn left into Rosemary Lane. Where the lane bears left take the path straight ahead into Springvale; keep left into the turning circle and take another narrow path into Rowan Drive and keep straight ahead along Birch Road on to Back Lane. Turn left along Back Lane and follow it, passing the entrance to Gayton Hall, the home of Lord Romney, among trees on the left, and take a grass path between hedges leading to the church. Enter the churchyard by a gate on the left. The church was constructed in 1604. The domed top to the tower has emblems of the evangelists at each corner. After viewing the church, leave by the lych gate.

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3 Turn left along the B1145 and after a short distance cross the road and turn right along Lime Kiln Road. Where the road bears right keep straight ahead along a short length of hard road and on to a narrow path between hedges. The path climbs steadily leaving steep banks either side where the limestone has been quarried. The presence of limestone accounts for the lack of surface water in this area as the rain permeates through the porous rock. Where the path meets the hard road at Well Hall Farm turn right along the lane. Cross the B1143 and continue along the surfaced road. Pass by the waterworks on the left and turn left at the next road junction. Part-way along this stretch of road on the right is the old workhouse. Continue along the road to the corner by Tithe Cottages with their attractive weathervane. Turn left along Broad Drove towards Grimston, its church dominating the skyline ahead. Carry on downhill back to the start of the walk.

Points of interest

The Freebridge Lynn Workhouse

This was built in 1836 at a cost of £5,146 and housed 150 inmates. The small chapel to the south-west was erected later. There were separate entrances and dormitories for male and female occupants which meant that husband and wife were separated. The building was sold in 1964 and since 1999 has been a private residence.

Grimston Pottery

In the 11th to 16th centuries Grimston and Pott Row were important centres of pottery production. Much of the produce was exported to Scandinavia and Grimston ware finds have also been made in Italy and Spain. The presence of a band of clay, used for pottery making, accounts for the spring line seen already at the start of the walk.

Gayton St Nicholas church

The domed top to the tower is a special feature of the Gayton church tower which shows well from the roads approaching the village. On the four corners are the emblems of the evangelists, now much weathered. They are the winged man for St Matthew, a lion for St Mark, an ox for St Luke and an eagle for St John.

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