Weston, Lee Brockhurst and Stanton
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Walk Route Description
MAIN START: Alongside the Church in Weston-under-Redcastle which is off the A49 about 11 miles north of Shrewsbury and 9 miles south of Whitchurch. GR SJ565288
TERRAIN: Easy going through varying landscape with good views over North Shropshire countryside. One or two climbs but nothing too major. Sandstone features prevalent along various sections of the walk. Suitable for any time of the year but some cropped fields or overgrown paths cannot be ruled out in the summer.
THE PUB: The Stanton is a friendly village pub with bar, lounge and pool room. Bar snacks and meals are usually available. There is a good selection of ales including Drawwell (local brew from Wem), Ruddles, John Smiths, Websters Dark Mild, Beamish, Holsten Lager and Strongbow. Garden seating.
WESTON-UNDER-REDCASTLE. A picturesque village and home of the renowned Hawkstone Park which contains a number of follies visible from various points on the walk, as well as caves and mature grounds. It is open to the public and well worth a visit but I would suggest this would be better done on a return trip. The Hall was owned by the Hill Family, wealthy local landowners who also funded most of the cost of building the Church in 1791. It was used as a prisoner of war camp during the Second World War (the Hall that is, not the church). Adjacent is Hawkstone Park Hotel and Golf Club together with the remains of 'Red Castle' which dates from the thirteenth century.
MAIN WALK - Turn left along the lane away from the church and immediately left again along a minor lane signed Lee Brockhurst. You will pass a farmhouse on the left and after a further 250 yards on the brow of a hill bear left down a waymarked path between hedgerows. Continue for about a quarter of a mile before crossing a stile on the right into a pasture field and follow the waymark along the line of electricity poles from where, on a clear day, long distance views can be enjoyed over to the right. After the second pole bear half right to a stile in a crossing fence to the right of a gate and proceed in the next field with a post and wire boundary on your right. It bends to the right, descends gradually and (be a little careful here) as it bends right again by an oak tree continue forward down into a hollow to find a stile 30 yards ahead just in front of trees bordering the A49.
Cross the stile and turn left along the verge to the main road for about 200 yards through a newish sandstone cutting and cross carefully to turn off right through a gateway into a wooded area. If you are following the O.S. map you may be a little confused at this point and wonder where the sharp left bend has gone before realising that the new cutting has taken it out. After going through the gateway you will actually walk along a section of the old road with its white lining still visible.
About 100 yards after the gateway, branch left along a sunken track around the edge of a copse which shortly emerges onto a path running between fields. On meeting a junction with a farm track continue forward and forward again when in turn this track meets the driveway up to Lee Hill Farm on the left. The way now becomes metalled and exits onto a lane opposite farm buildings in the hamlet of Lee Brockhurst. Here, turn left and cross a bridge over the River Roden to meet the A49 again but, before doing so, a diversion right is recommended to see the church and other buildings of interest.
LEE BROCKHURST - A charming farming hamlet mentioned in the Domesday Book and containing a number of buildings of historic importance. To the north (i.e. right at the junction with the lane referred to above) is St. Peters Church, a tiny twelfth century sandstone building with an unusual carved altar bead depicting a scene from the last supper. The bridge over the River Roden was built to Thomas Telford's design in 1800 and, in between, is the small village green from where access is available to the National Trust's protected area of Lee Hills. There is a tableau giving details of the routes through the woods here to a splendid vantage point overlooking the countryside towards Wem. It is a winding path involving a fair bit of climbing and, whilst well worth doing, a return trip would be advisable. As you will have gathered already there is enough to see and do in this area to keep you occupied on another day. Opposite the green are the North Shropshire Hunt kennels and to the east the old forge and school.
Cross the A49 directly up a track running to the left of a dwelling. This track of sandstone bedrock is part of the Shropshire Way and passes through a gate, gradually rises, then levels out to pass to the left of a belt of mixed woodland. As you walk along here there are lovely views to the left over Top Moss and Bury Wood. Ignore a track to the right after going through another gate and continue along the edge of the wood as the path descends on an attractive sunken stretch between sandstone outcrops.
About 150 yards after the end of the wood turn sharp left at a junction and a further 400 yards or so will bring you to Papermill Bridge, where you cross the River Roden again. On gaining a cottage (white painted at the time of research) continue forward along a grassy track to the left of it and negotiate the short ascent of Papermill Bank. As the ground levels out you will pass a converted cottage to meet and continue ahead along a broad driveway. After a further 150 yards or so keep a sharp lookout for a waymarked stile on your right between two oak trees.
Cross the stile and follow the post and wire boundary towards trees just ahead where you will cross another stile to descend through a short section of woodland to a further stile after about 75 yards. Cross this and on meeting a farm track continue forward to the right of a tall buttressed brick wall. After 50 yards the track loops right to a farmhouse but you continue ahead over a stile still with the wall for company. Cross a waymarked fence into a field and follow the left boundary along the edge of a wood and, where the wood ends, continue the line forward across the bottom end of the field to a waymarked stile on the far side of a farm track.
Now, be careful! Cross the stile into a field and bear half left to pass just to the right of two sycamore trees aiming for an isolated beech ahead, just beyond which there is a waymarked stile in the corner of two meeting hedges. In the next (large) field keep on the same line to cross it diagonally towards the right of a group of trees on the opposite boundary. If the field is planted or ploughed up it may be more practical to walk around the edge to the same point. On arriving at the said point exit onto a lane and turn left to follow a zigzag course for half a mile into the village of Stanton Upon Hine Heath. On your right you can see the remains of Moreton-Corbett Castle (open to the public). On reaching a 'unction continue forward and follow the lane round to find the The Stanton.
Try not to make yourself too much at home -you are still only just over half way round. On leaving, turn left then immediately left again up a lane signed Booley & Moston. In half a mile you will pass the rear entrance to Harcourt and 125 yards or so further on there is a waymarked stone stile and fence in the hedge on your left. Cross, bearing slightly right in the field towards a wood and, on reaching it, turn right along the top edge. You skirt around an old reservoir and continue the line through a metal gate to reach and cross a driveway.
Go through a gate on the other side and proceed in a field to the left of a house and at the far side is a waymarked stile with nice views off to the right over Top Moss. Cross and press forward in the field parallel with and about 50 yards away from a wood on your left aiming towards more trees ahead. On reaching them cross a stile onto a path alongside the trees to another stile 75 yards further on leading into the wood. You now follow a pleasant track through fir trees for some 150 yards to cross another stile, or the remains of one, and continue forward passing beneath three trees to cross a stone stile before descending down steps onto a lane by Moston Lodge.
If you are following the short route you will bear left here, otherwise go straight ahead on a lane passing to the right of a chapel converted into a rather attractive residence bearing the date 1885.You will presently enter the rural settlement of Moston and pass Moston Grange on the right. Ignore a right turn immediately after it to arrive at Moston Farm which bears the somewhat unwelcoming warning sign to would be callers 'Every third traveller is shot, the second has just left'.
Opposite the end of the farm buildings on the right is a footpath sign and a stile to cross before bearing half left to cut off the bottom corner of a field to another stile in the adjacent boundary. Once over this bear 80 degrees right, gradually moving away from the right hand hedged boundary, cutting off the right corner of the field to a further stile which you can see on the opposite boundary with a wood in the background. Cross this and follow post and wire boundary which turns to hedge and leads you to yet another stile in front of the wood.
Now turn right on a broad track running to the left of some houses with Weston Heath Coppice on your left. It will be noted that this is another sandstone rock track and you will continue on it for some time through an attractive area of mixed woodland.
After passing a line of mature beech trees bear left at a fork to ascend yet another sunken path in a sandstone cutting. This is fairly steep but worth the effort as the surrounding woodland is wonderful, especially in the autumn when the colours are changing. At the top of the incline, branch left along a broad stone lane which continues through a sparsely populated residential area with smallholdings.
Ignore all turnings off until you arrive back at the church. This is in fact the Chapel of St. Luke and built of sandstone, what else. The nave and western tower were built in 1791 with the Hill family bearing the bulk of the cost - see previous note. It was restored in 1879, the 54th year of the curacy of the Revd. John Hill, brother of the 2nd Viscount Hill and nephew of the more famous General Lord Hill. The family clearly had a major influence on local affairs for many years.
SHORTER WALK - From The Stanton at point 3, pick up the main route and follow it through to point 4 at Moston Lodge. Here turn left in front of the converted chapel along a broad track signed 'No Through Road'. After 400 yards or so you will draw level with a wood on the left and in line with the back of it pick up the stile in the hedge between oak trees at point 2. From here follow the main route back to the pub.
Other walks nearby
Walk 2905 The Llangollen Canal from Ellesmere - easy/mod - 8.0 miles/13 km
Walk 1009 The Wrekin from near Cluddley - easy/mod - 3.0 miles/4.9 km
Walk 2176 A Wrekin circuit from near Cluddley - easy/mod - 4.5 miles/7.3 km
Walk 2499 Aqualate Mere and Forton from Norbury Junction - easy/mod - 8.0 miles/13 km
Walk 1837 Norbury Junction Circular - easy - 4.6 miles/7.5 km
Walk 3531 Cop Mere and the Offleys - easy - 7.0 miles/11.4 km
Walk 1941 Outwoods & Beffcote - easy - 4.1 miles/6.7 km
Walk 3535 River Dee from Farndon - easy - 4.0 miles/6.5 km
Walk 1832 The Hollies & Poles Coppice from near Habberley - easy/mod - 5.0 miles/8.1 km
Walk 1844 The Portway & Betchcott Hill from Picklescott - easy/mod - 5.0 miles/8.1 km
Recommended Books & eBooks
Hillwalking in Shropshire
Guidebook to 32 walking routes in Shropshire in the West Midlands. The routes range from 3 miles (5km) to 12 miles (19km), taking in highlights such as The Wrekin, Wenlock Edge, Long Mynd and Stiperstones, Castle Ring and Bury Ditches. Many routes start near delightful towns and villages including Church Stretton, Ludlow and Bishops Castle.
The End to End Trail