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Ashover and Goss Hall

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Tea Shops
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Ashover
2.50 Miles (4.00 Km)
Explorer OL24  1:25000
White Peak Area
Ashover Parish Hall
S54 0BA  (SK 3510 6320)
 
 
623 feet   (190 meters)
508 feet   (155 meters)
738 feet   (225 meters)
 
 
None
Ashover Parish Hall Car Park
Jul 31st 2011  Duration 1hr 40m
Ashover Parking
Map For
This Walk.

Walk Altitude Profile:
 


 
A short walk from Ashover south across fields, down lanes and alongside the river Amber. Add to this a haunted coffin, a headless spectre and a pipe smoking ghost; this walk could get interesting. The timing for this walk includes a chat with a local out walking his dog; one thing I have learned whilst walking over the years is to never discount local knowledge.

Getting There:

Ashover is just off of the A632 Matlock to Chesterfield Road. At Kelstedge (about three and a half miles from the junction with the A6 in the center of Matlock) take the B6036 sign posted Ashover and follow the road for three-quarters of a mile into the village. At the t-junction opposite The Old Poets Inn turn left into Church Street, continue up the hill past the Church and follow the car park signs (turn right in front of the Black Swan). The car park is to be found on the right just beyond the Black Swan public house. Parking is free, but spaces are limited.
 
Public transport access to Ashover is via the number 63 bus service; this service runs every two hours Monday to Saturday from Matlock and Chesterfield, please keep in mind there is no bus service on Sunday's or Bank Holiday's. A copy of the timetable for the No:63 bus service is available from Derby Bus Info;.
Panoramic view of Ashover from the route of the walk

A view of Ashover fron the top of the walk.


The Church Of All Saints Ashover was built between 1350 and 1419 by Thomas Babbington, although the south porch is much older dating from around 1275. The church contains one of the few Norman lead fonts in England dating from about 1150. The font is decorated with with twenty figures, mounted in pairs. During the Civil War and the Commonwealth (1641- 1660) the font was buried for safekeeping and restored to its present position after the Restoration.
 
Outside the church to the west is a stone coffin dated around the year 1200. It is said that if you walk around the coffin three times, then lie inside with your eyes closed you will hear the sounds of ghostly chains, quite faintly at first then louder as time passes! As if a haunted empty coffin was not enough both the Church and churchyard are supposedly haunted by a figure of a headless woman. This ghost is said to be the wife of farmer John Townrow who bludgeoned her to death before cutting off her head and killing himself. It is doubtful you will bump into this spectre as it's last recorded appearance was in the north isle of the church during 1890.

Follow the path until you get to another stile. Faced with a choice of directions do not follow the footpath signs pointing to the left instead take the wide track directly ahead. After a short distance the track swings left, ahead lies a motocross like race track, cross it carefully and proceed between the two sets of fences (see below).

Path between the fences on motocross track 
Path Between Two Fences

The Walk:

Leave the car park by the vehicle entrance and turn left, follow the road as it curves left into Church Street and on past the Church of All Saints (See information panel opposite) to the road junction. Directly ahead is a pun the Old Poet's Corner, this was formerly the Red Lion, turn right and follow the road look for a large house on the left with a carving of a lion on it's frontage; this used to be the White Lion Public House. Continue to follow the road out of Ashover; ignoring the footpath on the left walk on towards a block of houses on the left. Just before reaching these houses turn left down an unmarked lane, walk the short distance to the end of the track then cross a stile beside a gate into a field. Keeping the field boundary to your right continue forward until the field boundary turns right, at this point continue forward along the path in the same direction down the field and through a gap in a hedge, the field then opens out on both sides. Walk to the right and the path in the far right corner of the field, through an area of woodland to a wooden squeeze stile. Go through the stile onto a concrete bridge over a drainage ditch, then almost immediately cross the single beam wooden bridge over Marsh Brook as it flows towards the River Amber off to the left.

Plank Bridge over Marsh Brook 
Plank Footbridge

Continue on the path past the mouth of a diisused quarry being aware of the motocross course at all times, the path crosses the track twice before approaching a stone bridge over the River Amber, at this point the River looks rather like a well developed stream. According to the dog walker I chatted to about this route, this next section can become boggy after heavy rain. Cross the bridge and turn left and walk up the field keeping the wall/fence to your left continue in the same direction into a second field. Look ahead to the right for a open gateway with a stone squeeze stile next to it, pass through the stile/gate and continue through the next two fields via stiles keeping the field boundary to your right as you go. On entering the fifth field through a line of tall trees, the Elizabethan Goss Hall is on the right. Keep to the path and pass in front of the Hall to to a metal gate and a stile, go through the gate and the stile out onto a lane. Turn left and walk down the lane for approximately half a mile.
Goss Hall
 
Goss Hall

Goss Hall

Goss Hall is one of three old halls dating from a time when Ashover was divided into three manorial estates. During the reign of Elizabeth I the owner Anthony Babington was executed for treason and Goss Hall gifted by the Queen to Sir Walter Raleigh. Goss Hall is reputed to haunted by a pipe smoking ghost that fills the house with the smell of tobacco smoke. (A link to Sir Walter Raleigh bringing tobacco to this country perhaps?) This ghost was so diligent in it's smoking duties that during the 1950's one owner was forced to leave the hall due to the smell of the ghostly smoke.
As you walk down the lane you will pass a house/cottage on the left, and footpaths to both left and right. Ignore these paths and look for a wide track crossing the lane around a quarter of a mile after passing Greenend Farm (also on the left). At the crossing ahead along the lane lies Overton Hall, as with many of the sites in this area it too is considered to be haunted. Do not head towards Overton Hall instead take the track to the left and follow it up the hill. Views down onto Overton Hall are available through the trees to the right of the track. Some of my research suggests this may be an old packhorse trail, evidence for this becomes more evident when the route passes through a stile directly ahead and into a field. Follow the obvious path across the field, noting as you go that it is paved, although in places the paving is overgrown. Such paving was often put in place to allow the pack animals better grip and reduce erosion. As the path nears the end of the field the ground falls away sharply into a hollow, the paving turns into a set of steps.
Descend the steps and exit the field into the hollow. Follow the path down towards the River Amber, it is worth noting that where the ancient paving is absent there is quite noticeable erosion. After a short distance the path meets a disused railway line, the path now bears left along the old trackbed before going to the right and resuming it's course down to the river. Remnants of the paving are less evident along this stretch, but the small bridge that crosses the River Amber is of a type that lends weight to this once being a packhorse trail. Once over the river continue up the path towards Ashover. Note that the paving is being used as the foundation of an old drystone wall, and how the path has been affected by erosion. Continue up this path until it leads out alongside the Old Poets Corner into the centre of the village. From here it is a matter of retracing your route past the church and back to the car park and the end of the walk.
Stone Bridge Over The River Amber
 
Stone Bridge Over The River Amber

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