Thursday, 15 April 2010

Wolverton, Ashford Hill, Brimpton and Wasing

More dry weather, indeed the lack of rain becoming a bit of a concern again. This walk linked up with my Watership Down walk, so the total mileage along the chalk ridge to the south of Newbury is now up to 25 miles. Here is the route of this fifteen mile walk:

View Kingsclere - Ashford Hill in a larger map

To the east of Kingsclere is a little known stately home, Wolverton House. It was the home of Eleanor of Aquitaine (mother of King John and King Richard) for a while and has a rather strange Georgian church of St. Catherine. The less appealing stately home close by has an underground tunnel to the church.

Wolverton Church

There were many spring flowers: lesser celandine; wood anemone; wood sorrel. Bluebells were beginning to show some colour in the sunnier spots. In a damp ditch was this plant that had aromatic foliage it may be a mint:

minty plant

More clearly recognisable were these Sweet Violets.

sweet violet

In a stream Marsh Marigolds were already in full bloom.

marsh marigold

The Enborne is an attractive river that flows down to the village of Brimpton. Brimpton has a rather bland Victorian church built on the site of an older one, but some details are high Gothic style.

Brimpton Church

An attractive flower in the grass verges was a 'barren' strawberry (Potentilla sterilis) it flowers a little earlier than the 'ordinary' wild strawberry.

strawberry flower

Walking back up through another fine estate there is a small Georgian church at Wasing.

Wasing Church

As quite often happens on these walks I did stumble upon a group of deer, quite close to hand, but disappeared as soon as I reached for the camera. Spring flowers were the main spectacle, distant views were too hazy, and so it seems appropriate to end on a group of Wood Sorrel flowers

Wood Sorrel