Walk 2415 - printer friendly version
Chambers Farm Wood to Minting (return via Gautby) Walk
Author - Hugh Marrows
Length - 8.0 miles / 13 km
Ascent - 50 feet / 15 metres
Grade - easy/mod
Start - OS grid reference TF147740
Lat 53.250628 + Long -0.28234068
Postcode LN8 5JR (approx. location only)
This walk is somewhat different in that readers have a chance to do some route finding for themselves. This is because Chambers Farm Wood has several self-guided, waymarked routes that can be used to vary my preferred route described below. Part of the walk follows quiet country lanes.
Our walk starts from the carpark in Chambers Farm Wood, which lies between the villages of Minting and Wragby. Along with many other woodlands within a large swathe of surrounding countryside it forms part of what is known collectively as the Lincolnshire Limewoods. Ancient, historic woodlands such as these (i.e. woods that are known to be more than 600 years old) are rare survivals so these Limewoods are especially important from a conservationist point of view. As their name implies, they contain populations of small-leaved lime trees and because this species is uncommon this is a nationally protected area. At Chambers Farm Wood several related projects have also been initiated to conserve and increase populations of bats, the tree sparrow and the Brown Hairstreak butterfly. So far successful, a scheme begun in 2002 has ensured the re-introduction of dormice in the shape of sixteen micro-chipped pairs. Fed and acclimatised in cages before being set free the resultant growing population is now spreading throughout the locality. (Information panels at the visitor centre describe all these initiatives.) The woods also contain a number of wooden sculptures.
Minting village itself is an ancient settlement recorded as "Mentinghes" in the Domesday Book of 1086. However the place-name origin lies even further back in time for its origins lie in the Danish and Old English description of the "Place of the family of Mynta".
St Andrew's church, externally at least, dates only from 1864. However some Early English stonework (early C13th) survives inside. Minting too is distinguished in one other respect for it is one of a very few WWI "Thankful" villages where all the menfolk who went to war actually returned.
Just outside the village, on the left as we arrive and on your right as we return towards the woods, are the earthworks marking the site of Minting Priory. This Benedictine foundation was established about 1129 and survived until around 1400. It subsequently became a "Grange", the name for a working ecclesiastical farm, granted to Mount Grace Priory in Yorkshire in 1421.
Those interested in architecture will note the striking contrast between Minting church and the charming redbrick All Saints at Gautby. This was built in 1756 by the Vyner family of Gautby Hall and the entire design reflects the then fashionable Georgian tastes. The Vyners who came from London first settled in Lincolnshire at Tupholme in the C17th. In the capital their fortune was made as bankers and goldsmiths and amongst their commissions was the coronation regalia for Charles the Second. Their Gautby house, which dated from about the same time as the church, was demolished in 1872 and the area to the southwest of the village is still known as the "Great Park". Once they had inherited a much grander home at Newby Hall in Yorkshire they left Gautby for good but their little church and the family monuments inside survive them.
Notes Chambers Farm Wood is signposted from Wragby (off the B1202) and has a picnic area and toilets. Studying the information board for details of the waymarked walks before setting off. For refreshments there is the Sebastopol Inn in Minting. (Tel 01507-578500 in advance to check opening hours.)
From the carpark walk back towards the visitor centre and there turn right onto the "White" route through the woods. Almost immediately you will have to turn left as to start with the path runs parallel to the access road. Follow the waymarks and by a sequence of right turns you will finally join the "Red" route at a broad forestry track. There turn left.
At a track junction keep ahead on the "Red" route, which curves right back on itself to eventually arrive at a triangular clearing. Leave the "Red" route here by turning left and following the grassy track out of the woods (past a vehicle barrier) and shortly come to a wide farm track. Keep ahead for a mile to a road junction on the edge of Minting by the village hall. Continue ahead into the village for the inn and the church.
From Minting inn/church return through the village to the road junction by the village hall. Turn left and in half a mile turn right at a "T" junction for Gautby. Beyond the church keep right and bear right again at the next junction. Just after a left hand bend take the track on the right, which meets the outward route at a bend. Turn left, re-enter Chambers Farm Wood and walk back to the triangular clearing.
Now, by bearing half left, follow the rest of the "Red" route to a track junction. Turn left once more and soon a final right turn brings you back to the carpark.
Note - To omit Gautby simply retrace your steps from Minting directly to Chambers Farm Wood.