Ramsbury Walks – Keeping it local
Many rights of way take full advantage of our beautiful outstanding natural beauty landscape and surroundings and are a great way of getting out into the countryside. However, there are a number of rather more mundane walking routes closer to home in Ramsbury which we take for granted everyday but without which it would be that much harder to get about the place.
Of course, all public roads and pavements are public rights of way, but traditional routes don’t always serve modern needs and some PROWs have been specially granted in order to “join the dots” and ensure easy access around the village. With apologies for this being rather Ramsbury-centric, here’s a spotter’s guide to lesser local PROWs to look out for next time you’re visiting neighbours or need to walk the dog somewhere not too muddy:
Ramsbury #55 (Little Church Lane) is simply the path through the churchyard from the High Street to Back Lane via the driveway to the Old Vicarage. An examination of old maps suggests that the main path through the churchyard was historically to the east, effectively a continuation of Love’s Lane through to the Lychgate, passing by the Old Vicarage’s former stables. This might explain why the Lychgate is set, somewhat anomalously, to one side of the church and does not align with the main south door.
Ramsbury #56 (Tankard Lane) is an ancient BOAT – a “byway open to all traffic” – which has never been made up as an adopted road. This is perhaps because there have only ever been a few houses located directly on Tankard Lane, as opposed to say Burdett Street or Union Street, neither of which is very much wider but both of which are more densely populated.
Three little footpaths (#61, #62 and #67) allow you to walk from Hilldrop Lane (just south of the entrance to the Rec) through to Hilldrop Close, from Hilldrop Close down the north side of the playarea to Knowledge Crescent, and from Knowledge Crescent back up to Knowledge Hill and Ramsbury #4 (Bolstridge). “Knowledge” here is nothing do with learning, I’m afraid, but derives from “knowle edge” – “on the side of a hill or knoll”.
There are also a handful of snickets in Ashley Piece (#58 and #63), Swan’s Close (#68) and The Paddocks (#65 is a useful cut-through between the two sides). Bonus points for anyone who can fit Ramsbury#64 into a Sunday afternoon stroll – it was dedicated in case access might be required to any further housing developments to the north or east but is still waiting for its moment to arrive.