Medium length walk over even terrain. Reformation – Whitewood Heath – Wyfold – Reformation.
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) With your back to the front of the Reformation Pub turn left along Horsepond Road and after 100m take the first left into The Hamlet.
(1) After about 100m where the road bears left, turn right and enter the woods through a hole in the hedge. Here you will see three paths – take the left hand path and walk on up the hill through the mixed woodland.
(2) After about 600m the path turns sharp left through a gap in the fence (see white arrow on tree) and continues close to the top of a field until you reach Kate’s Cottage. Close by Kate’s Cottage is the site of the gallows tree that gave Gallowstree Common its name. Cross the road here to the path signed to Cane End, pass through the kissing gate and proceed straight ahead through the wood. Follow the way-marked route (white arrows on trees) taking care to take the left fork at a V junction and continue to follow the arrows. Keep on straight ahead past an open swampy area, past a wooden signpost which reads Wyfold in the reverse direction and Cane End in the forward direction. Go straight ahead in the Cane End direction and arrive at the end of the wood.
(3) Ignoring a path coming in from the left, go through a metal gate; proceed in a diagonally left direction across paddocks behind a house, through two more metal gates to a road. Turn left and walk along the road for a short distance to a green kissing gate on the right. Go through this gate, follow the path diagonally across the field to another green kissing gate and continue straight ahead past two arable fields, with a hedge to the right, to a wooden kissing gate. Keep straight ahead past rabbit/badger holes until a stile/ bar is reached, go over or through this. Continue straight ahead through open fields with pleasant views to the right, past a rather attractive copse to the right and arrive at a bridleway.
(4) Turn right here past a cottage and continue straight ahead across a lane (Park Lane). Follow the bridleway through woods across another lane and through more woods to reach Wyfold Lane.
(5) Turn right and walk through the hamlet of Wyfold past a row of cottages, Wyfold Farm, and a post-box set in a wall. Immediately after the entrance to Wyfold Grange you will see a footpath on the right signposted to Gallowstree Common.
(6) Take this path and walk straight ahead down the hill with an arable field to the left, through a path enclosed by trees and hedges. At the end of this path continue straight ahead past an old wooden five barred gate and through a gap in a wooden fence. Ignore a path going to the left and continue straight on through Wyfold wood, ignoring paths to the left and right until you arrive back at the path which leads into The Hamlet.
(1) Turn left, walk down to Horsepond Road and turn right to arrive back at the Reformation.(D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 335ft - The Reformation
1 : mi 0.12 - alt. 335ft - The Hamlet
2 : mi 0.56 - alt. 417ft - Path
3 : mi 1.41 - alt. 410ft - Withy Copse
4 : mi 2.45 - alt. 410ft - Cottage
5 : mi 3.49 - alt. 390ft - Wyfold Lane
6 : mi 3.96 - alt. 394ft - Wyfold Grange
D/A : mi 4.94 - alt. 335ft - The Reformation
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
The gallows tree which gave Gallowstree Common its name was a solitary oak standing apart from woodland. It is said that the last hanging, for sheep stealing, occurred in 1825. The stump was removed at the time of the Enclosure Acts but for some time the gibbet and chains were left on a post nearby.
Wyfold Grange is probably linked to the original grange belonging to Thame Abbey and is now a Victorian house surrounded by a major earthwork. The earthwork may be Iron Age in date, or it could possibly represent later defensive works. The former seems more likely.
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