Brentwood - Thorndon Park
Wed 16 May 2018 12:30I often go walking around Brentwood but I usually go to Thorndon Country Park at the A127 end. This time I've parked up round the back of Ingrave Road and close to Thorndon Hall to see where this takes me.
Ah, where would we be without Public Footpath No. 42? I've come to find out if it really does have the key to life, the universe and everything. Numbered public footpaths are great - they clearly look like some council bureaucratic scheme but if you try and Google any of them you won't find any details at all. This one is wedged in between the private Thorndon Park Golf Club and the private Thorndon Hall, giving us a few yards to wander between privilege on each side. The public right of way is literally the gap in the dead centre of the photo below, between the two paved paths.
Thorndon Hall was completed in 1778 and the estate and newly-finished house was visited in that year by King George III and Queen Charlotte on their visit to see the troops at the barracks at Warley Common, about 1.5 miles due west of here. Nowadays the hall is divided into several private apartments and is gated off to the public. You can still see the front of it from FP42.
You can see the golf club peeking through the bushes too - but the route in the middle really seems like you're a million miles away from both.
A lot of the Thorndon Hall grounds are private but not fenced off - there's just an occasional sign to tell you that you can't walk any further because it's private. I was lucky enough to spot a deer in the deer wood section of the walk. I know you SHOULD be able to see deer in a deer wood, but they hide a lot, don't they? See if you can spot it in the photo below ...
On through here to the country park itself for another mile or so until I pass through to The Avenue, which has the entrance/exit to the park and a gate with lion scupltures. Either side, just inside the park, are two lodges - Lion Lodge North and Lion Lodge South. They are noted on the Historic England website and would have been built at the end of the 18th Century too.
The park will always have special memories of the day I thumbed through my Twitter and saw that David Moyes had left West Ham United.
I just love the "No Entry After Dark" sign ... don't know why. Maybe they know something we don't.
Article written Wed 16 May 2018 12:30, last modified Sun 20 May 2018 10:30