Ravensdale

A 4.8-mile circular walk around the remnants of the old 12c’ Medieval deer park of Ravensdale
In Central Derbyshire

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This gentle walk takes you through
some of the pleasant peaceful and historically interesting farmland and woodlands in one of the most beautiful parts of Middle England.

The walk starts from the church of All Saints
In the village of Mugginton.

Thoughtfully park near the church of All Saints in the middle of Mugginton Village.
OS Explorer Map 259.  SK 283 429.

{Y’F’M’ in the text stands for yellow footpath marker}

Leave your car to walk northwards, rising gently uphill along the road to pass the old village school and Tag Hole Lane on your left.  Carry on out of the village for about 250/300 metres passing to your left the Old Beeches Farm and a barn conversion named the old Corn Store until you see a green footpath finger-post on the right-pointing to a gravel track on the left-hand side of the road.  Hunger Lane.
{Black garage to the right of the track entrance.}

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Walk down this pleasant tree-lined green lane between hedges to where the track crosses over the Hunger Hill Brook, just past this on the left is a double metal farm gate with a stile to its right, Y’F’M’.  Cross over the stile, turn right and walk up the side of the field to a metal farm gate.   {usually open}.

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Keep on, with the hedge/bracken covered fence to your right and the track gently curving to the left, from this point there are some grand views to be had looking out over the Blackbrook valley to the south.  When you reach the corner of the field pass through a metal farm gate, the Y’F’M’  is hidden behind the gate post.  Just past this gate and in the hedge to your right you’ll find a wicket gate with a post displaying a confusion of Y’F’M’s,  ignore these and pass through the gate.

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Carry straight on keeping the hedgerow to your right to pass-by a concrete cattle trough, 50m in front of you is a metal farm gate.  Y’F’M’
on right-hand gate post.
This leads through onto a green lane/farm track.
Walk along this descending downwards slightly until on your right you come to a metal farm gate with a wicket gate just a few meters beyond it.  Pass through the wicket and walk diagonally leftward down the meadow to its far-left hand corner.  Facing you is a gate-way {stile to its left}, pass through and aim for the wicket gate about 150m directly in front of you.

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Go through the gate and walk down the wide valley with a remnant of the medieval deer park of Ravensdale over to your left,  taking in the lovely pastoral scene that lies in front of you keep going until you come to the end of the hedge line.
Here you will see a track coming in from the left and a stile facing you, Y’F’M’.

If you like eating fungus, in the autumn these fields are very good for foraging Field Mushrooms.

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Cross over the stile and hemmed in by a post and rail fence on the left and a hedge to the right walk along the ride.  Keep plodding on and soon you will arrive at Park Farm.  Pass the farm on its right, {there are dogs here but they’re all bark and no bite}.  Or so the farmer assured me!  Carry on through a five-bar gate and walk
up the metalled farm drive to where
it starts to bend to the right.  In front of you and going off to the left is a short green lane, follow this through trees and hedges to come out by a new barn conversion, walk through the garden passing the building on its right to a wicket gate on the far side.  Pass through this into the field.

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From here you get some great views to the north-west over Park Hill Farm towards the wind turbines above Carsington Water and Brassington, to the west over the old Park Pale down to Black Brook and Redmire.

From the wicket walk diagonally leftward down the meadow and cross a stile in the wire fence just above the left-hand side of Park Hill Farm.  Drop down to the farm track and take the track to the right taking you around the right-hand side of the farm buildings to join a track coming down from the right.  Turn left and follow it past the farm to a five-bar gate.

Go through and follow the track above the valley and enjoying good views over to your left, pass through some Gorse bushes and carry on until you reach the corner of the field.  In the wire fence in front of you is a wicket gate, go through this and keeping the hedge to your right pass through a gate-way to walk down the centre of the field towards Redmire Gap and the overgrown Alder lined Blackbrook.
Hidden in the Alder/Thorn hedge line and some 50 meters left of the right-hand hedge you will find a wooden bridge.  Step over the low wooden rail/fence
{Y’F’M on the back of this},  cross the slippery moss-covered bridge {hand rail on the left}, to take the diverted foot-path leftward past the ornamental pond and fountain of the rather ostentatious ! Redmire House.

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There be real football money here !

Walk on past a short cobbled section of the path and follow the black metal park fencing around the edge of the property, follow this until you come to a black garage on your left and larger ones on the right.  Just past these as the drive bends to the right leave the road and take the track on the left, to carry on through the hedge in front of you.  Walk on up the steps and once again follow the black fence until it starts to bend to the right, at this point, you will see a mown path leading off to the left and a Y’F’P’ can be seen on the edge of the young plantation in front of you.  Take the path and walk through the trees to pass through two, wicket gates onto Intakes Lane.

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Keeping an eye open for traffic turn left and walk along the road passing Blackbrook Farm on the left and shortly after it on the right the historically interesting Halter Devil farm and Chapel.

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Keep on walking along Intakes lane until you arrive at a junction with Mercaston Lane and Smith Hall Lane.  To your left and just past the junction is a metal five bar gate next to a green footpath sign.  Pass through the gate and turn immediately right through the hedge to a stile Y’F’M’, step over this onto a mown footpath, follow this to a second stile and cross over it onto the drive of the Hollys.  Turn left then curve right down the drive to pass the property just to its right-hand side until you reach a metal five-bar gate.  Pass through this and immediately cross over the low stile/rails in front of you, set just to the left of a small five-bar gate.  Follow the path through the large overgrown hedges to the next five-bar gate and stile, Y’F’M.  Cross over and head for the three-wicket gates in the fences that divide the field facing you.
{ Y’F’M’ on each gate }.

These fields had Alpacas in them when I completed the walk in September.

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Once through the gates head downhill keeping just to the right of an electricity line/pole.  As the meadow narrows, hidden at its apex and just to the left of the wood to your right you will find a wooden bridge and handrail crossing over the overgrown Blackbrook.  Cross over to climb steeply up the overgrown bank in front of you to a stile Y’F’M.  { Someone has placed a piece of blue rope to aid you up the bank at this point }.  Go over the stile, cross the quarry track and walk over the wide bridge that takes you over an old quarry conveyor belt to a metal farm gate, Y’F’M’  on left gate post.  Follow the path through thorn and bramble bushes to come out on to a remnant of the old Ravensdale park.

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Follow the wide path/ride on short parkland grass through scattered tall Hawthorn bushes and ignoring the ride that leads up to the left keep going until you come to two electricity poles.  Carry on past these and walk along the shady gradually rising ride that sits on top of the wood bank to where you will come out onto the old parkland again, keep on walking until you come across some old electricity poles lying beside the ride.
You are about haway at this point and if you have sandwiches this is a nice spot to sit eat and take in the tranquil rural scene that surrounds you.
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From here, down below in the hedge-line, you can see a metal farm gate with a wicket gate to its left.  Walk down the meadow and pass through the wicket then head for the farm gate in the hedge-line in front of you, Y’F’M’ on the backside of the gate post.  Carry on keeping the hedge-line to your left until you reach another five-bar gate, go through this and walk diagonally leftward up the field to its far left-hand corner, { five-bar gate }.
Pass through this onto the farm track leading to Hill Top Farm.

Turn right and potter down the track as it bends first to the right and then back left to pass the farm buildings on their right.  Keep on the track as it heads downhill enjoying some grand views over the Blackbrook to your right until you come to the farm drive.  Walk straight on over it to find a stile in the hedgerow opposite, Y’F’M’.
Step over and walk along the side of the narrow field keeping close to the Holly/ Thorn hedge on the left to the next stile, Y’F’M’.Cross over and keep walking along the edge of the meadow until just past a large Oak you come to yet another stile, Y’F’M’.  Cross and carry on down to the corner of the field to pass over the stile facing you 
Y’F’M‘.  Ignor the wicket on the left, turn right then follow the hedgerow down to School House Farm.

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If you do the walk in the autumn, next to the stile you can usually find lots of ripe sweet Damsons in the hedgerow.

Go through the wicket gate to the left of the five-bar gate, then walk straight on to pass the farm to its left.  Plod along the drive by-passing a couple of wickets leading into the mire to your left until just before the track bends to the right, on the left you’ll see a gravel path leading into the wood and a small clear stream flowing to its right.  Take this path through the copse to a ford across the wonderfully crystal clear brook.  {Stepping stones}  This is the outflow from the spring that rises in the marshy morass to the left of the wood.

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 In the 13c’ a water-mill stood on whats now the marshy area to the west of the farm drive and the remains of its earthworks its dam and its silted up ponds along with the mill leat have been discovered.  The marsh is the most species-rich valley mire in Derbyshire and a site of special scientific interest due to the distinctiveness of its flora.

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Keep following the path through the copse under the dappled shade of Alders and oaks to reach a large rickety wicket gate with a broken gate post.  Go awkwardly through to take the right-hand branch of the two paths in front of you.  Carry on uphill on this old narrow lane for about a quarter of a mile between the hedges, by-passing a footpath on the left and shortly after this a farm gate.  Keep going, now gradually down-hill, with the occasional glimpse over the hedges of All Saints church, to where the ride widens into a farm track with a farm gate to its left.  Under the large Ash tree on the right is a stile with a gritstone post by the side of it and a wooden foot-path sign above it.

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Step over the stile into the meadow turn left and keeping to the hedgerow walk up towards the left-hand corner of the field.  In front of you set in the hedgerow, you will see a pair of gritstone squeeze posts, squash between these to walk on up the side of the field passing a five-bar gate and a wicket gate on your left.  Pass through gaps in the two fences in front of you and walk across the field to a wicket gate standing to the right of a large Ash tree Y’F’M.  Go through this and head for the wicket on the right-hand side of All Saints churchyard wall Y’F’M’.

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Follow the path through the churchyard, stopping off to admire the churches magnificent and ancient 1000+-year-old Yew tree that stands just to the right of the path.  The bowl of the Yew is a cavity/shell of about one and a half metres wide, held together with iron tie rods and the decay has more or less created two trees.
It never fails to impress me how these old Yew trees keep on going, they do though and the tree apart from the cavity in its bowl seems to be in a good condition.

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The church is usually left open and it’s worth stopping off to have a look around the interior, particularly at the old blacksmith made turret clock dating from the early seventeen hundreds.

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After you’ve had a poke around the church walk down the path turn left and walk back up the road to your car.

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