Walk: a pretty route in Saxlingham Nethergate
PUBLISHED: 11:44 21 November 2017
This month Peter James of Norfolk Ramblers takes us around a walk just a few miles south of Norwich
5¾ miles 9.5km
Start from the car park by the recreation ground and playing field, about 250 yards from the church. Ordnance Survey maps Landranger 134 or Explorer 237, grid reference TM 234 969. Post code NR15 1TE
1. From the sports ground car park, with your back to the road, go left towards the sports pavilion and a children’s play area and exit via the small gate to the road. Turn right for a short distance, and then turn right into Hall Lane.
Pass a signed footpath on your left and then shortly afterwards, at a signed track, turn right along a bridleway with a hedge on the right to the road at Saxlingham Green. This path can be very boggy after rain; if bad return to the road, turn right, then right again at the cross roads. This will bring you opposite the telephone box.
At the road with speed restriction and give way signs, turn left along The Green, then right along a bridleway, opposite Chequer’s Lane, by a red telephone box (now redundant and a Boudicca Way information point). Initially the route follows a good track, then veers to the left and continues along a right edge as a path.
At the corner of the field, ignore a footbridge ahead; turn left, still following a right edge. The edge curves gently right and then turns half left, and then left again by a sign saying ‘Private Woodland Keep Out’. The track becomes clearer and firmer as it approaches the road.
2.Cross the road, turning very briefly right and then almost immediately left, follow a path into a field and turn right along the edge, then follow the edge round to the left.
Continue on this track between barbed wire fences to the end of a wood on your right. Turn right here on a gently rising path following ‘Boudicca Way’ signs to a road. Cross the road onto the path opposite across an open field to the corner of Little Wood and turn right along the edge of the wood. At the corner of the end of the wood with a ‘Boudicca Way’ sign, turn left to keep alongside the edge of the wood. At the end of the wood go ahead over a stile and leave the wood behind. Just beyond a house on the right at Stubb’s Green, follow ‘Boudicca Way’ signs round to the left, then right at the end of the meadow along the edge of Great Wood; continue ahead beyond the wood and soon bear right along a track with a hedge on the left.
3. At a crossing path turn left across an open field (or maybe round the left edge, and following round the corner) Go over a footbridge and around the left side of a large oak tree, then turn right to a field corner and follow a track round to the left to the end of the field. At the crossing track turn right to a hedge, then left to follow the hedge to a corner.
At this corner continue ahead rightwards across the open field to meet the junction of Wash Lane and Chequers Lane. Go across the junction, through a ford (if flooded use the footbridge on the left) and continue ahead and round a right bend in the road. As the road turns left continue ahead on a footpath.
At the end of an open section follow the path straight ahead, now with a hedge on your right. At the next corner turn left towards the church and through the churchyard, round the end of the church and follow the path from the church passing a large beech tree with a seat around it and out to the road with a school opposite and turn left back along the road to the car park.
This walk from Saxlingham Nethergate, including a section in the parish of Shotesham, has attractive views and although it does not go through woodland does pass alongside some mainly deciduous woods. Little Wood, its shape reminiscent of a mitten, and Great Wood, shaped like a boot, may once have been part of a much larger area of woodland.
St Mary, Saxlingham Nethergate
The church, and the nave in particular, looks all of its big 1860s restoration, when the aisle was rebuilt and the window traceries replaced. It boasts one of the best glass collections in the Norwich area. Not all of it came from this church, and some of the glass that we know was in the church in the 1860s is not there today. It has been set as if to display a collection, which makes it fun to look at and interesting to compare.
Perhaps of the greatest interest are four roundels which are the oldest figurative glass in East Anglia. They date from about 1250, and predate the famous early glass at Elsing. Two of them show scenes from the legend of St Edmund, East Anglia’s patron saint. In one, he is martyred; in another, he offers the arrows, the instruments of his martyrdom, as a gift to heaven. A third shows the brothers St James and St John, and the fourth is another pair of brothers, St Philip and St James the Less.