Taking in history with five churches on today's walk
Setting off from the car park at St Peters Church in Todwick, 21 disciples set out to visit the churches of South Anston, Thorpe Salvin, Harthill, Wales and Todwick.
Turning right out of the car park we follow a pathway which became Axle Lane continued across the countryside and led
down to South Anston.
The first stop was to visit St James church on the High Street, first built in 1174 and extended during the next few centuries. We then continued walking across fields of golden ripe corn or barley down to the Chesterfield canal and the Cuckoo Way. Elevensies were taken at this point.
We then continued uphill and at the top admired the views back to the valley. We turned left and followed Lady Field Road into Thorpe Salvin. Just before the village are the ruins of Thorpe Salvin Hall.
We stopped here a while while Tony (a guest rambler from Retford ) gave us a little talk about the Hall. It was built in 1570 by the Sandford family but is more famous for the next owners, the Osbourne family, who Thomas, The Earl of Danby was Charles II chief minister and later became Duke of Leeds. The Hall was not grand enough so the Duke moved to Kiveton Park and the Hall fell into ruin. (surprise, surprise, Tony was a history teacher in a previous life) We continued past the village pump to St Peters Church. This Norman church has a fine carved half- timbered porch and a beautifully carved font.
From the church we continued up Harthill Road and crossed the fields to Loscar Wood, Crow Wood and followed the path down to Harthill.
Lunch was taken in Harthill at a point where the village have provided a number of benches around a flower bed of geraniums. There was also the benefit of the Beehive pub restaurant was open where a number of people enjoyed a pint of Wellbeck ale.
We visited All Hallows church which has Norman influences but has been extended in the 15th and 17th century and was the main chapel for the Duke of Leeds.
From Harthill we walked across to Woodall and followed Walseker Lane and Coalpit Lane into Wales. We passed the church cemetery and followed Church Street to the church of St John the Baptist. This church dates from the 10th century and the Norman south door has great alternate bird and human head carvings dating from the 12th century.
Leaving the churchyard we turned right down Church Street crossed Wales Road , walked down Manor Road and right on to Storth Lane passing the comprehensive school. After the railway bridge crossing the stile and head across the field, we crossed the bridge, follow a gap in the hedge and walked in a NE direction across the field towards Todwick, aiming for the nearest house on the horizon. We walked up Mill Fields and at the top turned left, then right onto Mill Hills.
Crossing the road turn right then almost immediately left onto a footpath into the churchyard of St Peter and St James. This church dates back to the 11th century including the red sandstone nave and parts were added in the 14th & 17th centuries. Inside the church there are horse-box pews and carvings in the roof beams.
People then returned to their cars spiritually uplifted and still dry as thankfully the rain that had been promised held off.
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Remember while out observe social distancing, carry a mask, hand sanitiser, and gloves. Obey the Countryside Code and give way to other walkers.
Doncaster Ramblers have had a programme of Tuesday and Saturday walks, mostly between eight and eleven miles for about 30 years. The location of these walks varies from local in the Doncaster area like Tickhill, Sykehouse or Askern, to walks in the Derbyshire Peak District, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and West Yorkshire, etc. Most of us take a flask for a hot drink mid-morning, followed by a packed lunch.