See church’s 12th century treasure

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Part five of our Jurassic Way walks series picks up in Ashby St Ledgers, where we finished last week, and heads through Watford and West Haddon to the village of Winwick.

Starting from the centre of the village of Ashby St Ledgers, head to a left-hand bend just before the church and Manor House.

The Jurassic Way continues straight ahead from the road bend.

After crossing the railway line and A5 with great care, climb the Watford Lock Flight and follow the waymarks to the village. Coming into the village turn left at the sharp bend onto the main street.

Follow this halfway up the hill to turn left along Church Street to its end. Turn left at the junction then, right onto the footpath by the barn.

The land around the village, across which our route passes, is characterised by the parkland remains of Watford Court.

This great house was founded in the Elizabethan age. Its legacy is the glorious parkscape with groups of chestnuts, sycamores and beeches, spaced over ridge and furrow fields.

From Watford village, head north towards West Haddon.

You reach the village by the primary school into The Green. At West End (A428) turn right to the mini-roundabout, turning left up the High Street.

The medieval Church of All Saints stands at the heart of the village, one of its great treasures is a rare 12th Century font.

Take the next left, Crown Lane, to its top where the path leaves for Winwick.

On your way to Winwick you will pass West Haddon Pocket Park.

This pocket part adjoins the village playing field on the eastern edge of the village. It contains a rustic, children’s play area and picnic benches in the pleasant, tree-flanked meadow.

The Jurassic Way reaches and turns right onto the gated road to Winwick.

At the bridge crossroads the route turns right up a small hill (a brief excursion straight ahead will allow you to view the wonderful setting of the Manor House, church and school).

Winwick is a tiny village and remains of early settlement here are visible at the north-west end of the village, beyond the church and the Manor House. It seems that Winwick may never have been much larger than it is today but that, over centuries it has gradually moved up stream to its present location.

Contributed by Northamptonshire County Council