Walk 1026 - printer friendly version
Ropsley, Scotland & the Humbys Walk
Author - Hugh Marrows
Length - 8.5 miles / 13.8 km
Ascent - 100 feet / 30 metres
Grade - easy/mod
Start - OS grid reference SK994343
Lat 52.896965 + Long -0.5238173
Postcode NG33 4BJ (approx. location only)
Ropsley to Scotland is not the long trek it might appear for Scotland is a remote hamlet in south Lincolnshire. The walk is an invigorating walk for any time of year but is in remote countryside and crosses some arable fields! Considerate street parking is available in the vicinity of the Green Man inn at Ropsley (grid ref. SK994343).
The name Ropsley is Old English for "Hroppa's Lei" or wood and was recorded as "Ropeslai" in the Domesday Book. At it's centre raised above the surrounding cottages, St Peter's church is a jumble of architectural styles the Saxons period onwards. Ropsley has six best-kept village awards from the Council for the Preservation of Rural England.
Near Scotland the Iron Age "Round Hills" fort earthwork encloses about five acres and is one of a few easily visible prehistoric sites in Lincolnshire. The adjacent Mereway forms several local parish boundaries laid out in Saxon times from existing landmarks so may well be much older with its true origins in pre-history.
Great Humby was the former seat of the Brownlow family until they built, and moved to, the magnificent Belton House (National Trust) just north of Grantham. The only reminder now of the village's former importance is the tiny chapel, charmingly reflected in a nearby pond, The original dated from 1682 but was replaced in 1754 by an exact, though smaller, replica measuring a mere thirty by fifteen feet. Inside a display recalls local Signalman Kenneth Smith who in 1945 earned a posthumous George Cross after saving colleagues from a bomb. Nearby secluded Little Humby has old stone houses flanking a green and a Manor House dated 1631. The Roman King Street passes close by.
And finally something about Ropsley! This was the birthplace of Bishop Richard Foxe around 1448. Possibly educated in Boston, then Oxford and Paris he is famous as Secretary of State to kings Henry VII and Henry VIII and subsequently becoming Bishop of Exeter, Wells, Durham and finally Winchester where he was buried in 1528. Foxe however remained loyal his native Lincolnshire and founded Grantham grammar school where Isaac Newton was a scholar. His birthplace is marked by a plaque on a former inn close to the Green Man.
Leave Ropsley via Church Lane and at the end enter the short lane ahead and follow a footpath round field edges to a footbridge. Go left over this to cross a small golf course onto a road. Turn right for 200 yards and at the first signed footpath and stile turn left. After the next footbridge swing right then left behind a hedge and keep forward over another bridge to reach Kirton Wood.
Keep ahead just within the trees and where the wood ends look for a footbridge to your left. Cross this and veer right over a field to a footbridge in a hedge gap then turn left past more woods to join a track. When this bends right leave it walking forward to a waymark by trees and beyond them, a road.
[The "Round Hills" are now 200 yards to your left (grid ref. SK993308); they are accessible over rough grass although this is technically trespass.]
Return to the main route and follow the track opposite where you met the road. (The Mereway) Continue until a footpath sign directs you left through woods and on reaching open ground on the far side bear left, then join a green lane and the surfaced lane through Scotland. Take the second stile on the left, just before a right-hand bend. Another stile is concealed behind the hedge and the line of the path is now at 45 degrees leftwards; aim towards a prominent hedge gap. Maintain your line in the next field to another hedge gap and a road.
Cross into a farm road, following a fence past the house before zigzagging left then right along a field edge. From the corner go half right maintaining your line over two fields heading for the left corner of a small wood. Join a track and turn right into Great Humby; go right 150 yards to visit the chapel and return.
Now follow the road to Little Humby. Across the green a signed track begins and 100 yards along it look for a stile on your right. Keep to the left hand, lower edges of two meadows and then go left from a footbridge to reach another in a field corner. In the next field aim towards a stile near the middle one of three tallish trees. Keep the same line over another field to a stile approximately a third of the way along the far hedge.
Cross a narrow meadow and go through another hedge keeping to the right of the trees ahead to a further stile and footbridge. Walk through trees and proceed left of a hedge by a house gate. Climb more stiles until the path leads between hedges to a gate. Turning left along the nearby road leads back into Ropsley.