Good walk and a great tale with Doncaster Ramblers
We think of these short local walks as getting us out in the countryside, providing fresh air and exercise, but just occasionally it’s also about a right good tall tale, writes Peter Rowsell, of Doncaster Ramblers.
Eight of us started out on this rather chilly pre-lockdown morning from outside St Peter’s Church, Old Edlington, and once again we had a couple of walkers who knew the area well, in fact one grew up here.
As we started our march down Edlington Lane, we heard the story of Robert Molesworth and his trusted greyhound, while another says they had not walked these paths for 50 years – it’s wonderful how nostalgic a countryside ramble can be.
Just before reaching Asda, we turned left through a newly built housing estate then right left before eventually hitting what looked like a track at last.
This led us past the fishing lake, and on though a stretch of woodland where the path was heavily rutted.
On reaching Common Lane we made a right turn and then left before the recycling centre.
This rather overgrown section had some of us squatting to avoid low branches, but eventually we
reached open meadow and easier going.
At Cliften Hill we turned left then right down Common Lane.
After about half a mile, we turned right by a ridleway post to follow a track under a collapsed railway bridge then on to Conisbrough Parks Farm, where the route doubles back now heading south with a sudden ascent to climb as we headed towards Clifton.
The way ahead required some nifty navigation as we turned right, right, left left in quick succession to reach a wide track before turning left following the road through the village, continuing in direction east along a grassy trail across open land, eventually reaching Carr Lane.
Turning right, taking care of traffic, we turned left at the roundabout from where our start point was visible.
The route was five-a-and-a-half miles with a climb to 400feet and took us three hours.
Robert Molesworth, 1st Viscount Molesworth, lived in a property now known as Blow Hall Manor in Edlington Wood in the late 17th Century.
Wikipedia says Molesworth held great affection for his trusted companion, a snow-white greyhound.
Tradition recalls that one day, when Molesworth was working in the gardens of his Edlington estate, he made his way to the outside toilet when the dog pulled on his master’s coat flap, and would not let him proceed.
Surprised at this interruption, he ordered one of his gardeners to go ahead to the outside toilet and on opening the door, was immediately shot dead by a villain there concealed.
On the death of his hound years later, Molesworth had a monument erected to its memory in Edlington Wood, an urn supported by a square pedestal.