SHAPWICK & CATCOTT

By Ken & Helen Wade

Catcott

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A delightful walk with fine views of the Mendips and Brent Knoll. Distance - about 4 miles. Duration 1 hour. (Can be muddy in parts, particularly near Kent Farm.)

Park near St Mary's Church and walk down Station Road to Bridewell Lane about 50 metres from the church. Turn left into Bridewell Lane. Along Bridewell Lane, look to the right and see Shapwick Manor with a circular dove-cote in its grounds. On the left at the end of Bridewell Lane is the only thatched cottage remaining in Shapwick, once the old vicarage. At Timber Yard, the site of the old saw pit, turn left into Kent Lane leading to Church Road. At the T-junction of Kent Lane and Church Road turn right. In about 150 metres, where Church Road bends left, take the track straight ahead to Manor Farm. The Mendip Ridge is to the right and on a clear day you can see Cheddar Gorge, Crook Peak (the pointed hill), and Brent Knoll. Edington and Catcott Burtle are visible down on the levels in the direction of Crook Peak. Shapwick House comes into view with its associated cottages surrounded by walled gardens and copper beech trees. At Manor Farm bear left down the track in front of the house. Manor Farm is built in Georgian style out of the local blue lias stone. Continue along the track for about half a mile. The houses of Catcott can be seen with their red roofs in the distance. A superb view of Brent Knoll is soon evident with Brent Knoll Church visible on a clear day and Brean Down to the side of it jutting out into the Bristol Channel. Go through the first gate, straight on and through the second; don't take the tracks to the left or right. After about 20 metres the track opens up into a wide avenue. Head straight down this green avenue lined either side with oak and ash trees. Rabbits can often be seen at the end of the avenue with their white tails bobbing as they scamper off into the hedgerows. Pass the cattle trough on the right and go through the gate at the end of the avenue. In about 30 metres, at the corner of the field bear right down across a gully and over a stile. Maintain your direction. Pass the young copse on the right just before the corner of the field and take another stile. Turn left along the side of the hedge, and continue through 3 fields and gates, negotiating the fallen elm tree trunks, the result of Dutch Elm Disease in the 1970's. It is interesting to see new elm trees springing up in the hedgerows where these big trees once grew. At a 4th gate pass through and take the green track to Weares Lane, passing the horses and stables on the left. At the T-junction with Weares Lane turn right, towards the levels passing Catcott children’s' playground opposite "Rich Furlong". To the right is a good view of GlastonburyTor. Pass "Woodstock" house and at the staggered cross roads turn right into Langland Lane. Continue past some new houses and Langlands Farm on the right and take the track out of Catcott heading straight for the Tor. The whole of the Mendip Ridge is laid out before you. The stony track continues down and curves slowly right past several small fields and a cider orchard on the left. At the end of the track go straight on into a field, ignoring the gates to the left and right. Keep the hedge to your left and continue to the far side of the field, ignoring the gate and two openings into a field and cider orchard respectively. At the comer of the field climb the stile and cross the gully. Keeping the hedge on your left continue until you reach the track leading to Kent Lane. Ignore the track to the left which goes down to the levels. In the distance you can see the edge of Shapwick House surrounded by its cedar and copper beech trees. In 30 metres you reach Kent Lane. Bear right, passing in front of Kent Farm. In about half a mile you reach the walled gardens and cottages of Shapwick House. Carry on along Kent Lane back to the church.

 

 
 
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