Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Year's Day 5 Mile Walk Around the Devizes "Bounds" (The East Route to Avoid the Mud.)

Just a short write up this evening as, after a 5 mile walk with soggy conditions underfoot, I feel quite weary tonight.   I'm tempted to watch the traditional New Year's Concert from Vienna showing now on the tv, but I cannot sit still for too long, otherwise I will drop off to sleep again!   Twelve of us turned out today for our walk, which took us around the easterly route of the Devizes "Bounds" the medieval boundary of the town of Devizes.   It's a mostly flat walk, although the uphill section is on pavement, which is not my favourite surface on which to walk.  But it was not muddy!   We usually take the westerly route, but that involves a long downhill slope into a farmyard,  that is muddy, even in drought conditions.   Quite how deep the mud is at the moment after weeks of torrential rain,  I cannot imagine.    

Above we can be seen standing in front of the imposing former entrance of the Devizes Asylum.  The hospital was closed many years ago, and is now converted into flats and smart town houses.   J researched the history of the hospital,  and she can be seen in her red hat, reading her prepared tract.

We walked into "Drew's Pond," a nature reserve, which was once a medieval burial ground, and later used for the burial of the patients and staff who had died in the asylum.  Every year a short memorial service is held by a local priest, as an act of remembrance for the many poor pauper souls who now lie in unmarked graves.  Some tombstones remain, although it is impossible after all these years to read the inscriptions thereon.  J once again had done her homework, and gave us a brief history of the area.   We walked back into Devizes, where some  walkers went for lunch in the "Silk Mercer," and I came straight home for a cuppa and a snooze!

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