Word count: 604 Rural Roxwell Roxwell village dates back 600 years and is near to one of the sources of the River Can. Roxwell parish is littered with watercourses and springs and prone to flooding, so don’t forget your wellies! Words and images by Charlotte Fellingham 1 From the car park at the memorial hall, turn left, cross the road and walk up the footpath through the churchyard, which is tarmaced. St Michael’s and Angels church dates from the 14th century but was restored in the 19th century and has hardly any original features left. Turn right at the road and continue straight on along the footpath at the bottom. Cross a stile into an arable field taking the path ahead of you through the crop. To the right is the site of the old Roxwell windmill, now built over. Keep an eye out for a gap in the hedge on the right which will take you through to a playing field. Walk towards the cricket pavilion, to the left of this is a small car park and the path leaves the field down a track to the road. 2 At the road, turn left away from the village. Take the next footpath on the right opposite the cottages. Go downhill past horse paddocks and cross a bridge and stile over Roxwell Brook. Turn left once across the stile and follow the path alongside the brook. Cross another stile to carry on alongside the brook by Hopgarden Spring. Hopgarden Spring is a hornbeam and ash coppice with oak standards, there are bluebells in spring. The path follows the brook for about 1km. At the next path junction, just before meeting the road at Patience Bridge, turn right following the hedgerow. Go straight ahead at the path crossroads, across the field towards the boating lake. Once over the field keep ahead through the hedge and over a stile. Head diagonally left over the field, keeping the hedge to your left. Keep left, following the hedge all through Skreens Park until you see a tall wooden post with a white top in the corner of the field. Skreen’s Park, now a Scout activity centre, was the site of a large mansion, now demolished. Head for the post and turn left and over another stile. Then turn right heading for another white-topped post. 3 At the concrete track turn right and carry on straight ahead onto a muddy track beneath the trees. As the path opens out, turn left by the house, over a stile and then right along the field edge. When the fenceline on your right stops, keep going straight ahead through the field towards the telegraph poles. On meeting the track again, cross it into a field taking the path through the crop and heading towards the 17th century Grade II listed Tye Hall. At the farm cross a bridge and a track and keep ahead with a barn on your right. Carry on round the pond and back out into open fields. Continue straight on through the field heading for the gate and fence at the bottom. Cross the stile and keep ahead with the hedge on your left. Follow the path round to the left and cross another stile onto a bridge and over another stile then walk along the line of the electric fencing towards a stile on the far fence. Cross this and head towards the new house on the site of the old mill, going round a gate. The old mill was demolished in 2003 and was a corn mill in the 18th century. Turn right across a bridge, which runs over the old mill race and weir, and carry on up the path along the side of the field to the road. Turn left, cross Mill Close and continue round the bend going past the school and back to The Street to the memorial hall. Distance: 4 miles / 6.7 km / 2 hours Terrain: Easy going but 10 stiles spread out across the route Start / parking: Roxwell Memorial Hall, The Street GR645 085 Map: OS Explorer 183 Chelmsford and the Rodings Refreshments: The Chequers pub, The Street, Roxwell Tourist Information Centre: Witham Tourist Information Centre, Town Hall, 61 Newland Street, Witham, Essex, CM8 2FE, Tel: 01376 502674 Places to visit: The city of Chelmsford is only a couple of miles down the A1060 and is well worth a visit.
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