Fotheringhay, Elton and the River Nene
21st August 2020
This walk takes you through an area steeped in history and lovely stretches of the River Nene
- Distance: 5 miles (8 km)
- Typical Time: 2 to 2.5 hours
- OS Map: Explorer 227 or Landranger 142
- Start and Finish: Fotheringhay main street, PE8 5HZ
- Terrain: Fairly flat, well used, across field paths and tracks
- Stiles: 5, 2 of which are next to gates
- Getting there: Leave A1 at Yarwell, then minor road via Yarwell and Nassington
- After parking car on the main street walk past the Falcon pub west and you will soon see a footpath taking off on the right (north) just before a ‘phone box. Follow this until it reaches Willow Brook, cross the bridge and then follow the field round to the left alongside the brook until you join the Nene Way
- Follow the Nene Way a couple of hundred yards, and then take the footpath bearing off to the right across the field towards the right edge of the small coppice (take the left field boundary if too muddy). Here you will re-join the path as you pass a little pond, then head towards the farm and pass straight through its yard
- On the other side of the farm, cross into a field rather than following the drive. Cross the road and then follow the track all the way to the River Nene. After crossing at the lock walk past the old Elton Mill to join a metalled track and go via a gate into the village of Elton.
- At the road, turn right towards the Wesleyan Chapel and then right into Chapel Lane. Ignore first footpath sign and continue along the lane to join a bridleway; on the left is Elton Park.
- After just over a mile you will approach the A605. Follow alongside it on this side, past the Warmington Gravel Pit until your reach Warmington Mill. Pass in front of the mill to the right, and then turn left
- From here follow the Nene Way back to Fotheringhay, crossing a footbridge that appears in the middle of the field, then crossing Warmington Lock. Fotheringhay Church can be seen in the distance and after the lock aim for the gap in the hedge to the left of the church.
- As you drop down into Fotheringhay you will see a mound on your left, worth the climb for the views; this is all that is left of Fotheringhay Castle.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Richard III was born at Fotheringhay Castle in 1452. Mary Stuart was brought here in September 1586 after 18 years in captivity. Her trial took place in the Great Hall of the castle on 14th and 15th of October, and she was beheaded on 8th February 1587. The castle fell into disrepair after Mary’s death. The stones have been used to build many cottages and walls around the village.
Fotheringhay Church is described by Simon Jenkins as ‘floating on its hill above the River Nene, a galleon of Perpendicular on a sea of corn.’ It dates back to 1430 and is noted for containing a mausoleum to leading members of the Yorkist dynasty of the Wars of the Roses. It is currently undergoing a £1.5 Mn restoration project.
Elton Hall dates from the 16th century, with wonderful Victorian Gothic re-working. It has notable furniture and paintings by Gainsborough, Reynolds and Constable. Limited opening times, visit eltonhall.com
The Falcon Pub, Fotheringhay, PE8 5HZ. Tel: 01832 226254. Excellent pub and restaurant food, charming garden looking towards the church
Elton Post Office Stores, 7 Middle Street, PE8 6RA
Crown Inn, Duck St, Elton, PE8 6RQ (turn left on reaching village). Tel: 01832 280232