We were taking an evening stroll to enjoy the explore the surroundings. Our walk was to take us along a country lane, footpaths and eventually led us to “Bleadon” village. We had already walked past “St Catherines Inn”, but we both agreed it was much to early in the evening to contemplate having a drink! As we continued along the lane it seemed that most of the paths, which came away from the lane did not seem to be very inviting. Eventually we discover a footpath we were able to walk along 🙂
The path that we had found was part of the “West Mendip Way”. The way is ~28 miles (46.4km) in total and although we were tackling a tiny portion of the route that evening, it is something that could be explored in a future walk. This part of the path goes through a small private road, which at first I didn’t mind, until a local decided to drive past us 😦 It was quite disconcerting in my opinion, so I was glad when the path finally joined up a with a small gravel footpath which ran next to a large field. It did not give us not the most exciting views, but it was certainly more enjoyable than walking along the roadside. The path was reasonably short in length and it was not long before it brought us out into a small lane. Suddenly we were faced with a choice to either to climb up to the top of “Bleadon Hill” or to walk around the village. We chose the village and felt we would save the hill for another time.
|From 2012 – 07.09.2012 – Bleadon Village Walk|
On the way up the hill there was yet another pub, which again we didn’t think our walk quite justified visiting, so we passed it by. We started on the descent, and I will say that the first impression of the Bleadon village was seeing the impressive Stone Church which seems to dominate it, in fact A A Milne wrote something about it –
” Between the woods in folded hands
An accidental village stands,
Untidily, and with an air
Of wondering who left it there
Four square upon a little hill
The Norman church is Norman still;
And on the winding road below
The ageing houses come and go,
Grey faced and wrinkled, in a long indented row.”
A A Milne
“The Norman Church” 1948
A A Milne refers to St Peter & St Pauls Church as the “Norman Church”, which as the Stone Church it is. However, Church History suggests that there is good reason to believe that there has been a Church since Anglo Saxon times before the Normans built this beautiful Church. Saxon Churches were often dedicated to two Saints and this was common practice in Saxon Churches, with St Peter & St Paul sharing the same feast day, it is highly likely that this church in roots in Saxon History. Indeed, evidence still remains in the Church, if we had been able to venture inside a little stone angel is still visible high in the arch on the north wall. It was a shame the Church was shut as I would have liked to have been able to walk around it!
Just outside the Church was a Cross, which I presumed was a war memorial, I was wrong. This cross originally marked the boundary of the Church and was built during the C14th. This Cross was built during a time when “Black Death” had arrived in the Country, other similar Crosses had been erected throughout Britain. It seems these were built as a sign to ward off the terrible “Black Death”. Later in its history, The Cross has been moved from it’s original position in the Church grounds to just outside the Church and has also been rebuilt after it was struck by lightning! The cross has also been a place for people to sell market goods and to preach, a much nicer history than hearing it was used to ward of the “Black Death”!
|From 2012 – 07.09.2012 – Bleadon Village Walk|
As we gazed across the other side of the village, we saw a tiny cottage with some iron pumps standing outside it. Both of these pumps were the main source of water for the village right up until the 1940’s when water was finally piped into the village. The larger pump was used for carts and containers, the smaller one for pedestrians. Our walk proceeded too take us out of the village and out once more on to the road. The route was not too bad as it ran parallel with a small water way. I thought that this was the River Axe, but it was much too small! In centuries past Bleadon had a port on the River at Lympsham Wharf and the Axe provided the main trading route until the arrival of the railway in 1841. The last boat that used the wharf was in 1942.
As we continued along the road and past the Bleadon Stores, we found a footpath which we had not noticed previously this was in fact another part of the West Mendip Way. Unfortunately as we started to walk this we realised we could not continue as we did not have our walking boots and could not negotiate the muddy areas that we were suddenly confronted with 😦 . We carried on our walk on the opposite side of Bleadon Village, to see what we could discover. Our walk took us to the fields behind the Caravan Park, where we were rewarded with a beautiful evening Sunset, it was showing me that it was not long before we needed to end our walk for the day. I will admit that there did not seem to be any way markers for any public footpaths, so we could not venture far, but the views and the sunset definitely made this a part of the walk worthwhile. We discovered that that these part of the fields seemed to have been maintained for dogwalkers from the Caravan site, but I could be wrong and someone could kindly correct me!
At this point we finished our short evening walk, which we rather enjoyed. The weekend was lined up to have a lot more walking in store so we thought we wouldn’t wear our feet out too quickly! Please feel free to browse all the photos for the evening walk –
|2012 – 07.09.2012 – Bleadon Village Walk|