Real Ale Rambles

FUTURE EXPEDITIONS

REAL ALE RAMBLE 274

Saturday 11th August HOLLYBERRY END

5 miles and 3 pubs

BUSES: X1 leaves Pool Meadow Stand H 11.14 arrives Meriden Green 11.34, or 11.47 arrives 12.07

Return buses every 20 mins at 30, 50 & 10 past the hour from Meriden Green

" In the Middle Ages the road system of England was rather denser than it is now ..... Every wood, meadow, house and barn and most fields and furlongs had vehicle access ..... " So says Oliver Rackham in ' The History of the Coutryside '. Over the years many of these roads disappeared because of turnpike and enclosure activities and the process was hastened in the 1930's when county councils were tasked with tarring their minor roads. No county council could afford to tar all its roads, so many were left as what we now call ' white roads '. In some cases they even became footpaths, or have been ploughed out and lost completely.

In this case we have a perfectly preserved group of medieval roads, left much as they were, crossing the countryside between Eaves Green in Meriden and the hamlet of Hollyberry End. They cannot have been thought important enough to tarmac in the 1930's.

We meet at 12 noon at the QUEENS HEAD on Old Road, Meriden. At 12.30 we set off along the lane towards Eaves Green. Soon a track starts on the right, leading to an old garage. This takes us to a short path that cuts off the corner of the lane and takes us to the A45 bridge. We go under the bridge, pass a caravan park on the left and go through the hamlet of Eaves Green. When we come to a sharp right-hand bend we take to the track on the left. This is the old road to Hollyberry End. It winds through the countryside and at times you might think you were in Ridgeway country or somewhere similar, not midway between Coventry and Birmingham! We come to a T junction of tracks and go right. In places you will see the old road surface, made of rough sandstone blocks laid together. It reminds me of the surface of Greek kalderimi ( mule roads). In places it does look just like a country lane, in others it is somewhat overgrown, so I shall have to go out and clear it a bit before we walk it!

Eventually our track leads us to the lane through the hamlet of Hollyberry End. This lane has been surfaced, although in places it is little wider than the track we have just walked. On the opposite side of the lane the ancient route continues as a footpath to Hollyberry Hall and Corley Moor. We follow the lane and pass the scattered farms and cottages of Hollyberry End. Look out for the dry stone wall at Ivy House Farm, an unusual feature in Warwickshire due to the lack of easily available stone. We are on the same ridge as Corley Moor here and at one point there is a view of distant hills to the east. I think this is Barby Hill in the Northamptonshire Uplands.

After about a mile we come to the start of the second track. This takes us back to the T junction of tracks again. From here we retrace our steps towards Meriden. At the end of our first path, past the old garage, we cross the lane and take a field path to the junction of Old Road and Birmingham Road. Then we follow the road to the BULLS HEAD and STRAWBERRY BANK.

FUTURE EXPEDITIONS

Thurs 26 July HERBERT

Explore the treasures of Coventry Archives with a guided behind the scenes tour.

Meet at Drapers 1.30 p.m. Tour will be 2.00 till 3.00. Then I shall pub crawl my way home.

Maximum number of 12 persons due to limited space in the archives.

Names to Fred on 02476676716 or moc.liamg@ttekculfg with contact details please, so I can confirm.

Sept 9 RIDGEWAY, WELSH ROAD & FOSSE WAY

Meet at Red Lion, Hunningham, 12 noon

Not on a bus route. The nearest is the 580 to Bubbenhall or Marton or the 68 from Leamington to Cubbington

Oct LONDON See Paul Hamblett

Nov KENILWORTH BY TRAIN

Meet Coventry Station at 11.20 for 11.36 train. Arrives Kenilworth 11.44

Return trains at 8 minutes past the hour until 9.08

Dec CANLEY FORD

Jan GBG PUBS

Feb METRO

March COLESHILL PARKWAY

April SARAH HUGHES & MUD CITY

SUNDAY LUNCH WALKS - in conjunction with the Health Development Service of Coventry City Council.

All start at 12 noon on a Sunday

SUNDAY LUNCH WALK 73

Sunday 5th August THE BOOK FARM 4 miles

This month we meet at the PLOUGH on Smorrall Lane, near Bedworth, at the usual time of 12 noon. At 12.30 we set off west along Smorall Lane until we come to a gate opposite the junction with Hospital Lane. Going through the gate we could proceed left towards Taffs Farm, or go straight on towards Astley Hall Farm. As Taffs Farm is a dairy farm, taking that direction would involve passing through herds of cattle, maybe even a bull, so I think going via Astley Hall Farm is preferable We still might pass some catlle, but there will far be less of them, and there are more arable fields this way. Another alternative would have been to walk along Smorrall Lane as far as New Road, but this would involve a lot of roadside walking. Passing Astley Hall Farm we emerge onto the farm track, which takes us to a road. We go left and the road bridges a stream. Then we go over a stile to re-enter fields. Now we follow the stream through pasture then arable fields, before crossing the stream by a field bridge and walking up to Vauls Farm. This stands on a track rather incongruously called ' New Road '. We follow this track north, with Astley church tower visible through trees on the left. At the road we go right towards Astley Book Farm. Keep to the verge as this is a busy road.

We reach the Book Farm at 1.30, where we can have cakes and tea, or wine, or cider, or beer. The cafe does stock two bottled Church End beers. We can also browse through the book shelves until we leave at about 2.00. Then we set off again to retrace our steps back to the PLOUGH, getting back at about 3.00

FUTURE EXPEDITIONS

These walks all start at 12 noon. Copies of these walks can be obtained from Beer Gonzo in Earlsdon, or for more details contact moc.liamg@ttekculfg

Thurs 26 July HERBERT

Explore the treasures of Coventry Archives with a guided behind the scenes tour.

There is a £ 5 charge.

Meet at Drapers 1.30 p.m. Tour will be 2.00 till 3.00. Then I shall pub crawl my way home.

Maximum number of 12 persons due to limited space in the archives.

Names to Fred on 07938190391 or moc.liamg@ttekculfg with contact details please, so I can confirm.

Sept 2 LAVENDER HALL FISHERIES

Meet at the Railway, Balsall Common

( Cooks till 2.30 Sat & Sun. Tea & cakes till 4/5 )

Oct 7 RYTON POOLS

Meet at Malt Shovel, Bubbenhall

Copies of these walks can be obtained from Fred & Sharon. They are usually in Beer Gonzo in Earlsdon on Thursdays, from around 7 pm to 9 pm.