History walk 6: from Repps Road to Cess Road

The footpath from Repps Road to Cess Road i.e. TG437172 to TG444181 along what is now named Common Road

 

Physical Character

 

This path follows the Private Road No. 17 laid out by the Enclosure Commissioners in 1812 when the Common was enclosed.  There is now a surfaced road from Repps Road to about TG437178 when it becomes a dirt track.  At the beginning the road is about 18 feet wide, which is the width required by the Enclosure Commissioners.  When the road turns north east it narrows to about 12 feet and continues at about that width.  

 

Leaving Repps Road the path follows the road going north along the west side of Grange Farm House and the farm buildings and cottages there.  On the west side of the road is a deep ditch – possibly with a running stream and this runs into a pond opposite the farm buildings.  After the farm buildings have been passed there is a hedge on the east side of the road which is probably very ancient.  On the west side of the road is a hedge with a shallow ditch beyond it.  The hedge on the east side is particularly rich in species of lime, hawthorn, ash, hazel, rose, bramble, ivy, apple, pear and blackthorn which may have survived from the days when the Common existed.  Before Enclosure this part of the track is the track which followed the edge of the Common.  On the east side farther along, north of a pair of cottages on the east side of this part of the track, is a shallow ditch which was the land spring drain and the land beyond that is about three feet higher than the track.

 

Round the next bend cherry, oak and hazel were growing alongside the track.  Round another bend, the road continues eastwards with maple, cherry, oak and elder growing alongside.

 

Historical Ecology

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The footpath along this track follows the entire length of ‘Private Road No. 17’ shown on the Enclosure map of 1812.

The road that leaves Repps Road – B1152 - at TG437172 is an old road which is shown on Faden’s Map of 1797.  Beyond the farm buildings it was originally the track along the edge of the Common.  Therefore at the Enclosure it was already in existence but was extended across the enclosed common.

At the point TG435175 where the road takes a right angle turn northeast it actually goes over land which was part of the common.  This is why in the 20th century the road was named ‘Common Road’.

On the north side of Common Road at about TG438179 is a plot of land which was set aside as a ‘Parish Smee’ at the Enclosure, for the use of the poor who were permitted to take mud from the Smee to daub their houses.  As this was no longer required the Parish Council recently decided that it would become a nature reserve and erected an information board detailing the flaura & fauna to be found there.

1.  The beginning of the footpath at Repps Road at TG436172

2.  The view along the track from TG436173 looking north where footpath 5 crosses the road

3.  Looking back along the same stretch of track

4.  Looking back south from nearer to Beverley Cottage

5.  Looking back south along the track by Beverley Cottage

6.  The track where it turns eastwards at TG434177

7.  The track looking west at the junction with Cess Road at TG444181

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