Cirencester Ramblers

20th March, Winchcombe

On Sunday 20th March 9 members and 1 guest set off from the car park in Winchcombe for a 10 mile circular walk. After watching the Palm Sunday procession leave the car park to walk towards the church they headed out to find the first of three castles (only one, Sudeley Castle, still visible).

The first, Winchcombe Castle, a motte and bailey castle, was built during the chaos of the Anarchy in the 12th century. It was built either in 1140 or 1144 in the north-east of Winchcombe, then a key region of the conflict, and rested on a high motte, or mound. Built by Roger, Earl of Hereford, a supporter of the Empress Matilda, it was attacked in late 1144 by forces loyal to King Stephen and was destroyed after the attack and not rebuilt.

After a short walk across fields they reached the more well known Sudely Castle. The walk continued with lunch high on a hill taking in the glorious views. After lunch the group walked on to Farmcote and eventually reached Hailes Abbey. After viewing the wall paintings in the church they  found the site of the third castle, Hailes Castle, adjacent to the Abbey. This castle was probably demolished in the 1240’s to make way for the construction of the Abbey.

The final leg of the walk was a good climb up Langley Hill and back down into Winchcombe.

Ready to start from the car park

We are joined on our walk by Bernard Gill, The Area Vice Chairman

Richard finds a broken stile to report!

Nicky passes the "how to close a sheep pen" test

Lunch break with fantastic views

Welcome break after climbing Langley Hill