Spooner Row Walk

Charles and Joy Boldero look forward to 2006 with an enjoyable walk around Spooner Row.

This enjoyable and easy four-mile walk is a good way to start off the New Year. The paths were in good order, and there are fine views over the countryside, plus a friendly inn at the end of the walk. We parked in the car park beside the school along Station Road, in Spooner Row, which is east off the A11 three miles southwest of Wymondham. Just after the priority sign turn left immediately before the school into the car park which has old metal gates.

We turned right along Station Road then, immediately before the 'priority' sign, crossed the road, turning right along the verge, then left over the earth bridge to the white notice.


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Turning left along the field edge we walked right around the field to where houses were on our left. By The Cottage we turned right along the country lane then soon, at the white notice, left, then right along the field edge. Once again we walked right around this field, then along the verge near by the road that led to the bypass.

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We ignored the track left but, almost immediately afterwards, turned left to the white notice, then right along the field edge. We walked right around this field and still kept along it with a wood on the right, where the map shows that an old moat once was there in the wood.

The Boars.

At the hedged grassy track we turned right and, as it went left, we kept straight ahead into the field and turned left there. We walked three-quarters of the way around this field to where a wide gap in the hedge appeared, and turned left at this point, then left again along the field edge.

At the boundary, we climbed the stile at the railway notice, went down steps, crossed the railway line, went up the steps and over the stile. Here, the public footpath went straight across the field, but the farmer had not left any sign of the route. There is a wide grass strip around the field and, although not an official public right of way, you may find it easier to walk it, turning left at the crop around the field. Reaching the tree-lined country lane we turned left along it and, at the T-junction, turned left along the road. Where the thatched cottage came into view to the left we turned left along the country lane, Queen Street. We followed this around to the main road and paused at the inn opposite. We then turned left along Station Road, crossed the railway line, and turned right into School Lane.

We send EDP readers and walkers warm greetings and wish them a very Happy New Year.

POINTS OF INTEREST

1. In the 15th century the woods around Spooner Row were coppiced, and the wood used to make spoons, taps and spindles which were then sold in Wymondham. Was that how Spooner Row got its name?

Holy Trinity Church.

The primary school was built in 1875 at a cost of �1063 and 10 shillings (the latter being 50p today!) At first, 110 children attended; now only 80 children are taught there up to the age of 11 years. You can spot the Victorian essence of the school and today there is a conservation area and wild garden space there.

2. A moat, but what around? Was there a large house here and why was a moat needed? Who lived in the house the moat surrounded? Can anyone answer these questions?

3. The pill box in the field on left is a type 22, a small hexagonal pill box for six men, with five light machine guns and one rifle.

4 The Boars: The old formerly thatched inn was built in the 17th century but was burnt down in 1926. Luckily, Mrs Routh-Clarke, of the Wattlefield estate, built the current building alongside the old in 1928.

We had a warm welcome, not only from the landlord but also from Molly, the lovely black Labrador puppy, who is not allowed to be fed by customers! The Boars is open seven days a week, but food from the excellent menu is not served on Monday evenings. The Boars was a runner-up in the East Anglian Good Food Pub of the Year Awards. There is also a good selection of real ales. Charles enjoyed one of his favourites, Old Speckled Hen.

The railway was built in 1845, the signal box (a Great Eastern railway type 2) in the 1880s.

5. Holy Trinity Church was built in 1843 by J Mitchell and was once part of the Wattlefield estate. There was a Guild of the Holy Trinity in the 16th century and this was revived in 1958 by Mrs Routh-Clarke. Holy Trinity is a daughter church of Wymondham Abbey. Wattlefield Hall, at Wymondham, was built in 1856 by John Mitchell, a local solicitor. He was succeeded by his cousin, William Robert Clarke, a brewer. William's grandson, Edward Francis Routh-Clarke then inherited.

6. The railway was built in 1845, the signal box (a Great Eastern railway type 2) in the 1880s. It retains a semaphore signalling system and the gates are manually operated. The original station building was built in 1844, but was demolished after a fire in 1977.

7. Spooner Row, Suton and Wattlefield village hall was built as a granary in the 18th century. The walls are thick as they were constructed from clay lump, a traditional Norfolk material. It was an ammunition store in the second world war, and was converted to a village hall in 1949.

MAP REFERENCES

OS Landranger 144, Explorer 237:

092976, 092976, 089972, 087978, 082975, 085974, 086969, 084971, 087969, 089967, 094966, 096969, 093971, 097973, 092976.

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