Monday, 2 January 2012

The Annual "Devizes Bounds" New Year's Day Walk.

Climbing up "Boundary Ditch."
Here we are climbing in "Boundary Ditch," part of the medieval boundary of old Devizes.   This walk  has become a tradition, a  good walk on New Year's Day to aid the digestion after the binge the night before, and to clear the fog in ones brain, caused mostly by alcohol.  The sky was overcast, but it didn't rain, the drops  saved themselves for the last moment when we  arrived on the steps of the "Silk Mercer" in Devizes Market Place for a pint and a well earned meal. 

The walk is varied, starting in the Market Place and walking part of the canal towpath, down towards the old railway line (sadly axed in the 1960s) and then down dale, up a steep, grassy hill and over or under several stiles.   Onwards along a muddy lane to Devizes, we passed "Gallows Ditch," the site of public hangings over the last centuries.  We saw the old railway tunnel under Devizes Castle, the present building, a Victorian idea of a castle, replaced the original which was  built by the Normans in the 12th cent.   Princess Matilda was held here during her fight with her brother Stephen, over her accession to the throne, via the female line.
Curious cows watch us pass by, mud was plentiful!

Mrs Pig enjoys her oats.
I first walked the "Bounds" with the Devizes Mayor way back in 2007.  Every year the Mayor in office leads a walk of the boundary, which in total measures approx 7 miles.  I have only once walked the whole distance in a morning,  but yesterday we walked only the western part of the walk, and at the half way point of 3.5 miles,  the general concensus was to walk on, but to the PUB!    Nobody objected.
A Monkey Puzzle tree bearing cones, which is most unusual, so I am told.

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