Deb's Ancestor Walk

We had a nice family history lesson from our leader as many of her family lived along the route.

We headed over to Foxton and parked up in a little lay-by (///breaches.closed.icicles) near St. Andrew’s Church and The Black Horse. The walk is a smidgen under 7 miles with very little undulation and a few stiles.

The walk heads up Main Street and then bears left onto Gallow Field Road. At the junction at the top of the road is a gate directly opposite leading to the first footpath of the day. This footpath wiggles it’s way towards and then past HMP Gartree, over Mill Hill and into Lubenham.

The path takes us past a playground and exits onto The Green. We turn left here and take the right fork of The Green and head towards the main road through the village. This is the A4304 and is labelled Main Street. Almost directly opposite is Rushes Lane and this is where the walk continues.

Some way down the lane is All Saints Church and here we paused for Family History Lesson 1. Deborah pointed out the headstone for her great grandparents Frederick Incles and Adah Edith Incles (née Sprigg). Adah was one of a dozen children and five of her siblings are buried close by.

At the bottom of Rushes Lane is an old railway bridge and here the road changes it’s name to Farndon Road. To the right is a large green field with a gateway to the next footpath. On previous walks we have seen a variety of wildlife in this area so it’s an idea keep your eyes open.

When the path reaches a track we turn right onto it and then left off it to continue on our way. Once we are all safely past the stream we come out onto Marston Road and head left. Marston Road is narrow with only grass verges so please take care along here. There is usually very little traffic … but you never know!

As we enter Marston Trussell we pass St. Nicholas Church where we had Family History Lesson 2 as some more of Deborah’s ancestors are buried here.

The road changed it’s name to Lubenham Road along the way but it is now Main Street. A little way along Main Street on the right is a red telephone box at a junction. Like many others around the country, the phone box is now a “library”.

The walk heads right onto the road past the phone box and through what may have been a farm but is now a home for military tanks. Yes. Tanks!

There are a few other military vehicles there and a couple of planes. The owners are very friendly and we had a nice little chat about where the stuff came from. They buy items in need of some care and attention, do them up, and then sell them on. The sand coloured tank was on it’s way to America the following day.

We eventually moved on and traversed a couple of fields. There are a few more stiles along this section. The path comes out onto the A4304 by Bramfield Caravan Park. We carefully crossed the road and walked past the caravan site, through Papillon Hall Farm, and onto a footpath to begin the long, slow climb to Laughton Road where we joined the canal towpath.

The walk along the canal is pleasant and (usually) peaceful with a variety of bird life. Bridges 58 and 59 approached and were left behind fairly quickly but it took a while to get to Gumley Road Bridge (60). After that is the downhill section past all the locks and to the infamous Bridge 61, the pub stop. There is usually a choice of ales here or the option of tea or coffee – and their bacon butties aren’t bad either!

However, just before the downhill section is a rather large notice courtesy of the Canal & River Trust. This is where we had Family History Lesson 3. The notice is all about Lock keeper George Durran who just happens to be our guide’s great great grandfather.

After refreshment, the walk heads back up to and over the bridge to the left past the Foxton Locks Inn. No stiles along this short section, just a couple of gates. We head past the car park onto the old road that was just a track when Benjamin Bevan started the design work for the 10 locks in 1810. The track exits onto – you guessed it – Main Street! A left turn and a short walk downhill and we were back at the cars.

A few more shots from the walk