- to (past) Dog Kennel farm (TL176283)
- to St. Ibbs in St. Ippolytes (TL195260)
- to the Centre of the 'ring of springs'
This is the spot where I hope to have a plinth erected to mark the spot and to create kingfisher nesting boxes with entrances to face both rivers.
Also, I would like to have a bridge over the river to offer easy access to the spinney and to the walk that could lead to Walsworth Common without negotiating the busy and dangerous Woolgrove Road railbridge.
Route 3 walkers will need to walk towards Hitchin from this point.
Before the Triangle Community Garden and the pond, the footpath used to continue along the bank of the river at this point to the right of this notice board. However, the diversion through the garden is interesting and pretty, so it is well worth the few extra paces.
Walkers following Route 3 will be making their way to the right of the picture.
To the right can be seen the Kingdom Hall of the Jahova witnesses. I give them credit for planting the riverbank and grounds with bird-friendly vegetation. The 'fruits' of which were eagerly devoured last year by a flock of waxwings. These people also take on the job of keeping their plot free from the ever accumulating rubbish (credit where credit is due!)
Culvert at Starlings Bridge
However, I received this informative email 18-01-12 about the spring on Butts Close. This is a wet area that I was not sure about. I could not figure out whether it was indeed a spring and/or where the water might go to. Now we have an answer to both these questions and I will add it to the list of springs and the information to the ROUTE 3 (this walk). At this point I'm not sure how we can work in a detour onto Butts close - but Ill figure somethings out in the near future.
Thank you Keith for your contribution.
Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews has left a new comment on your post "Purwell 'ring of springs' walking ROUTE 3 in more ...":
The stream that joins the Hiz from the culvert at the back (south-east side) of Bancroft Gardens is the Capswell Brook. This brook is now culverted for all of its length. It rises on Butts Close, where the marsh grass in the area between Archer's Gym and Hampden House on the west side of Elmside Walk marks the spring. From there, it formerly flowed north-eastwards before turning more to the east beneath the Boys' School playing fields and crossing Bancroft roughly in the position of the gap between the southern (earlier) group of buildings forming Skinner's Almshouses and the northern (later) block. The presence of the stream is the reason for the raising of the pavement on the west side of Bancroft in this area: in the nineteenth century, it was much higher and there was a tendency for the road to flood occasionally. I imagine that the current culvert is more efficient than the older, as I'm not aware of any floods in this area in recent years. The stretch east of the almshouses was still partly open in the early twentieth century, running through the nursery that stood behind Skinner's almshouses. I suspect that this part was culverted to create the bowling green when the gardens were developed in the 1930s.
Posted by Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews to Purwell Valley at 18 January 2012 09:01
This alley follows the line of the river to the car park at Portmill Lane.
Now, here's the tricky bit. 'I' am going to take a route through The Priory, following the river.
This is not an easy route and 'you' would possibly need waders and permission. However, the views are stunning and probably the best stretch of the River Hiz that exists. I would suggest that the best option for those less confident would be to make your way up Tilehouse Street a short way and turn left into the Old Charlton Road. follow this to the end where the footpath leads you out onto the Hitchin bypass. The river crosses here and so must you. Then just follow the river which will be on your left until you reach the Charlton Road ,where you turn left past Dog Kennel Farm. (there are pictures to accompany the detour later)
( I'll meet you there in a few minutes! as I am going through The Priory Grounds)
This is where I meet you if you went round the Charlton Road route - which I will now retrace for you below.
At the end where you can just about see a lamp post on the left there is a path that leads to the bypass.
We continue along Maidencroft Lane past Dead Womans Lane and Tatmore Hills Lane on the right and Maidencroft Manor on the left.
There is a pond in here but I suspect that Paul made it to complement his aqauatic pursuits and it therefore has nothing to do with a 'spring' in the ring . Neither is it part of the aquifer system that feeds into the Purwell Valley.
Take the left turn here towards Poynders Meadow, past Thistley Farm; Cottage;View & House, on to the next junction.
Turn left and follow the lane to the Codicote Road by St. Ibbs Lodge
This will be the path you take to the next spring.
I would advise trying to cross the road at this point to utilise the footpath on the other side. There is no footpath on the left of the Stevenage Road and the traffic regularly break the speed limits along this stretch.
(with The Willows on the right.)
(An email from A blog follower about another spring in this area)
Getting back to you at last re the spring I was mentioning.
Here are three photos. I will send them separately as well a little larger.
The centre one shows the pipe coming from the pond which was filled in some years ago. There was always a pipe taking the spring water from the pond to the Ashbrook here.
The pond was in line from the pipe in the position where the ploughed field meets the grass - a distance of around 15 metres.
The first picture is a close up of the point of entry to the Ashbrook and the third photo shows the area in question at the bend in the river.
The grid ref is TL 204 283
The path follows the Ashbrook from the bridge over the St Ippollytts brook in the recreation ground in Ninesprings Way.
The Ashbrook joins the St Ippollytts brook 20 metres to the right of the bridge. The pond was at the bend in the Ashbrook.
I remember as a child watching the springs bubble up into the pond.
The farmer says that the area is often wet there and the spring was filled in before he took over, perhaps to release a little more cultivatable land.
Stuart, hope this is of interest.
I have known Derek Turner for years. He speaks admiringly of The Hutton Highway along the Hiz.
This 'scrape' is designed for wildlife and is maintained by the Countryside Management Service with help from the Friends of Purwell Valley.