PUBLISHED: 13:02 10 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:59 22 October 2010
This eight-mile walk took us many hours in searching out. On the paths we used you will find the walk enjoyable, but we had to use country lanes as some of the marked paths were unusable.
This eight-mile walk took us many hours in searching out. On the paths we used you will find the walk enjoyable, but we had to use country lanes as some of the marked paths were unusable. Mrs Lewis, parish clerk and secretary of Syleham village hall has kindly given EDP walks permission to use the village hall car park, but please park at the far end. Syleham is situated on a minor road south off the B1134 at Brockdish.
From the car park we turned right and, after a few yards, right again at a finger post sign up a driveway.
We continued straight ahead with old barns on the right. We crossed the field and went over the bridge, turning left through the copse then walked down the track. We turned right along the country lane, then a few feet after the fingerpost sign we turned left along the track. At the red brick house we went right across the Common with the castle on left.
At the country lane we turned left, then right along Church Road. Reaching the church we turned left through the churchyard going round the gate and along the path. It turned right going beside a field edge, then left with a gate on the right. At the end of this path we turned right, then kept along the path with the river on the right to the road. We turned left along the country lane, ignoring all paths off, then left at a T junction and right at the next junction.
At a finger post sign we turned left along a wide field edge path and followed it right around to the country lane where we turned left along it. We turned right after 200 yards at the field edge This path descended into a valley and at the bottom we went left then right, then down steps and over a stile. We turned left, on a path beside the hedge, climbing stiles across the meadow, keeping to the left hand side of it. At the end we went diagonally right to the stile.
At the track, to visit the inn, turn right, going over a river bridge, through Crescent Poultry and right along Common Lane, then right again along the pavement in Brockdish to the Old King's Head. Afterwards retrace steps to the stile. Keep along the track, eastwards a short way. We climbed the stile on the right and walked across the meadow to the gate, and along the tree-lined track, crossed the road and went up the track opposite.
We crossed the meadow, then a field, then continued along the field edge by a sign in the next field. We went up the driveway of the thatched house and turned right along the road, then right again and left back to the start of the walk.
PLACES OF INTEREST
1 Syleham lies in the Waveney valley. The name derives from an Anglo/Saxon one, 'sylu', meaning a 'miry place'. Where the marshy areas are, there can be seen luminous marsh gases called 'will-o-the-wisp' or 'Syleham lamps' which have led travellers astray in days gone by!
The church, with its Anglo/Saxon tower, stands alone. Near it, by a causeway, stood a cross and there in 1174 Hugh Bigod surrendered his castles of Bungay and Framlingham to Henry II.
2 The moated castle at Wingfield is an imposing building, although only parts of the old castle remain. In 1384 Richard III licensed Michael de la Pole to crenallate his dwellings here and at Sterfield and Huntingfield. De le Pole married the heiress of Sir John Wingfield, and Michael was created Earl of Suffolk in 1385. The family had a chequered history. William, who married Alice Chaucer, a formidable woman herself, was perhaps the most notorious of the family. As he grew more powerful, he was brought into disfavour with his fellow peers and he suffered a terrible death, beheaded on the gunwales of a boat in the English Channel in the 15th century.
3 St Andrews church was built in 1362 as the collegiate church of Sir John de Wingfield's Foundation. It is a beautiful one to visit, with its monuments to the De la Pole family.
Wingfield College lies just below the church. Until 1534, it was a college of secular priests. We were told that the inn was, in early days, a place where those building the church lived, several to a room. Today the De La Pole Arms is closed and has been for a year or two to the anger of villagers and there is a vigorous campaign under way to get it reopened.
4 As we found the pub closed in Wingfield, we had to 'adjust' the walk to reach Brockdish and The Old King's Arms. We were too late to sup a pint, but it is a traditional country pub, serving home-cooked food with local ales. It is open normal hours Monday to Thursday and all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
5 The old water mill which stood in the time of the Domesday book is no longer there but another stood in its place in 1844 when there was a reference to an 'extensive water corn mill which was converted into a linen and cotton manufactory'. The local flax produced drabbet and other cloths.
Map References OS Landranger 156, Explorer 230
213779, 213780, 214777, 218778, 219773, 221774, 222771, 229772, 230768, 244774, 240783, 236781, 233793, 227792, 224795, 223793, 219797, 216795, 213796, 214797 (Inn) 213796 216795, 214792, 215785, 216781, 213779.
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