March Ramble – Cuddy Hill
Cuddy Hill is an area north of Woodplumpton. The starting point of the walk was the Plough At Eaves, a remote pub with a long and interesting history, dating from 1625 and used as a refuge by both sides during the Battle of Preston. A century earlier, The Battle of Cuddy Hill was fought here, between the Tudors and the Scots.
Starting from the pub, we walked through fields and on into a private garden. During the drive down, the weather looked distinctly gloomy, but as forecast, the clouds started to lift and as we later approached the canal, the sun made an appearance.
This stretch of the Lancaster Canal was quite pleasant, with open views of the fells to the East, including Parlick. (We will return one day!). A lone Heron took off from the water, guiding us to the bridge where we were to leave the canal and take to the footpath through Woodplumpton.
At the South end of the village we arrived at St Anne’s church, part of which may date back to the 13th century, and having tried the village stocks, we entered the churchyard and enjoyed our lunch on the seats provided for us.
Before leaving, we had a look at the grave of Meg Shelton, a local witch, buried there in 1705. We then headed away from the church, under sunny blue skies, over fields and along a quiet lane to a farm, over a large open field to a canal bridge and a return to the canal, this time walking North. Eventually, we arrived at the same canal bridge as we had left it earlier and headed to Bell Fold Farm. This farm yard is always exceptionally tidy, unlike most farms. Walking away from the farm, we were attacked by a sudden and vicious squall, which fortunately didn’t last very long and now it was on the home run, across more pastures to a stile which brought us out onto the lane from where it was a short walk back to the start.
This turned out to be a pleasant walk in an area steeped in history with the ever popular Lancaster Canal as its core.