This delightful circular walk starts from Packwood House, a well-known National Trust property. The walk will give you a flavour of The Millennium Way taking you across mostly flat countryside. This is walk 6 from the 44 composing the Millenium Way.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) Start from Packwood House. Turn right (North-West) out of the National Trust car park down Parckwood road to pass Grove Lane on your left then.
(1) After 110 paces, take the kissing gate left (West) (at the side of the farm gate) into the field following the black Millennium Way waymarker, to go over centre of the field to take the gap by the kissing gate under power lines. Go ahead with the hedge left for another 50 paces, then follow the waymarker to go diagonally right (North-West) to the power pole in the corner by trees.
Take a wooden kissing gate leading into the churchyard of St. Giles Church and go ahead to find the main arched door of the church. Pass to the left of the church, then pass the tower door to exit churchyard via kissing gate to the car park (here we leave the Millennium Way until later in the walk).
(2) Go immediately right (North-East-East) to take the car park corner gap in a wooden fence, then take the kissing gate. Go ahead on the path between the scrub to find the field corner gap. Take the gap and go ahead with the hedge right, ignore mid field kissing gate on the right, but continue to the field end to take the kissing gate to Packwood road.
Cross the road (take care blind bend) then through kissing gate opposite into field continuing ahead (East) with hedge right to exit the field by two stiles/footbridges. Go ahead with the hedge right then through metal swing gate to the next field then ahead with a wire fence on the left.
(3) Take the corner stile and the footbridge then go slightly uphill between fenced horse paddocks, to reach the gravel path which becomes a track leading towards the house directly ahead. Go through two metal gates then ahead across gravelled area keeping the house on the right, then bear right on the driveway keeping a pond right, up towards Chessetts Wood road.
On reaching the road turn left (North) and after 100 yards take Chapel Lane on your right (East-North-East), signposted Chadwick End. Continue down Chapel Lane for 600 yards, passing over the railway line, ignoring the first hidden waymarked path on right, then turn right into Valley Lane where you rejoin the Millennium Way.
(4) Continue down Valley Lane ignoring the road on your right, staying ahead between tall hedges. Follow the drive around past the stone pillars and immediately before the private entrance to Valley Farm go through the kissing gate left into the field.
Turn right with the hedge right to find the corner field wooden kissing gate. Then ahead to take the next wooden kissing gate and stone bridge, over a stile to the field. Maintain the same line ahead with hedges left to follow the distinctive Millennium Way waymarkers over several stiles, through scrub and a gate to take a large metal kissing gate then through the short passage to arrive at the road (Rising Lane).
(5) Go right (West) on the road gently uphill to cross the bridge over the railway line, then immediately take the driveway on right (The Grove). Go down the drive and, just before the house gate, take the passageway right to the kissing gate then go with hedge left to take the further kissing gate to driveway.
Go right (North) then after 10 paces go left (West) through the kissing gate into a field and continue with the hedge left to exit the field through the gate to the road (Chessetts Road).
(6) Go right on the road passing the driveway on your right to Uplands Farm, then after some 30 paces take the kissing gate left (West) into the National Trust Packwood Avenue. Go along the lovely avenue of trees, then through a metal gate and down a few steps to Packwood House. Turn right at the road which brings you back to the National Trust Car Park. (D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 413ft - Packwood House
1 : mi 0.29 - alt. 407ft - Grove Lane
2 : mi 0.51 - alt. 397ft - St. Giles Church
3 : mi 1.22 - alt. 387ft - Footbridge
4 : mi 2.16 - alt. 341ft - Valley Lane
5 : mi 2.71 - alt. 358ft - Rising Lane
6 : mi 3.16 - alt. 443ft - Chessetts Road
D/A : mi 3.94 - alt. 413ft - Packwood House
Start: Packwood House B94 6AT
Grid Map Ref: SP 174 722
Parking: Car park at Packwood House or roadside. The car park at Packwood House opens from 10.30am to 5.30pm all year.
Maps: OS Explorer 220 or Landranger 139
Stiles: 10 (dog friendly)
Refreshments: Packwood House (01564
The Millenium Way is clearly waymarked with the distinctive black and white circular waymarkers.
More information at http://www.walking.41club.org/packwood.h...
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Points of Interest - What to know and what to see.... by Andy Botherway
* Packwood House
The house began as a modest timber-framed farmhouse constructed for John Fetherston between 1556 and 1560. Its interiors were extensively restored between the First and Second World Wars by Graham Baron Ash to create a fascinating 20th-century evocation of domestic Tudor architecture.
Packwood House contains a fine collection of 16th-century textiles and furniture, and the gardens have renowned herbaceous borders.
The famous Yew Garden containing over 100 trees was laid out in the mid-17th century by John Fetherston, the lawyer.
The clipped yews are supposed to represent "The Sermon on the Mount".
In 1941, Ash donated the house and gardens to the National Trust.
* Packwood Church
The earliest record of Packwood, southeast of Solihull, is in a deed dated 1190 witnessed by Walter, chaplain of Packwood and is evidence that there was priest and no doubt a church. The present Church of St Giles dates from 1270-80 and stands secluded in peaceful fields, with Church Farm and Packwood Hall as its nearest neighbours. It was at St Giles' church on a June morning in 1706 that a Lichfield bookseller, Michael Johnson, came to marry Sara Ford. Their son, born in 1709, grew up to become Dr. Samuel Johnson of literary fame. The registers actually date back to 1668 and are kept in the church safe.
The first stone church dates to 1270-80 and consisted of a simple rectangular nave and chancel. The west tower was added in the late 15th century by a penitent murderer. The story goes that the lord of Baddesley Clinton, Nicholas Brome, came home unexpectedly to find the local priest 'chockinge' (chucking, or tickling) his wife under the chin. Assuming that the pair were having an affair, he slew the priest in a rage. Brome had powerful friends and he was able to gain a full pardon from both the King and the Pope, but as an act of penitence he built towers for the churches at Baddesley Clinton and Packwood. The tower has ever since been known locally as The Tower of Atonement.
The most interesting interior feature is a partial wall painting on the north side of the chancel arch, where you can make out a fragment of a Doom, or depiction of the Day of Judgement. The painting dates to the 14th century and was uncovered during restoration in 1927.
Packwood Hall to the west of the church is largely a modern building, facing west, but retains an east wing of 17th-century timber-framing.
This circular walk passes two interesting landmarks, namely Packwood House and St. Giles Church which are both worthy of a visit. There are no difficult sections on this walk although there is a muddy waterlogged bit when reaching Pratt's Pit area. This is the walk 5 from the 44 composing the Millenium Way.
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