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Minster Lovell and Crawley

There are currently 4 comments and 2 photos online for this walk.

Minster Lovell and Crawley
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 26 Oct 2012 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Minster Lovell and Crawley Walking Guidestar1 Minster Lovell and Crawley Walking Guidestar1 Minster Lovell and Crawley Walking Guidestar1 Minster Lovell and Crawley Walking Guidestar1 Minster Lovell and Crawley Walking Guide
Oxfordshire, Cotswolds
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Minster Lovell and Crawley
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot Minster Lovell and Crawley Walking Guide boot Minster Lovell and Crawley Walking Guide
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A 4 mile circular walk from the pretty Oxfordshire village of Minster Lovell. The walk begins heading out along the street lined with thatched stone cottages, then crosses farmland and follows an ancient lane to reach the nearby village of Crawley. The return stretch runs alongside a stretch of the River Windrush and you will have chance to explore the ruins of Minster Lovell Hall.

The walk has a few gently climbs and descents plus one fairly steep but short descent through woodland. The route follows a mixture of field paths, unmade tracks and riverside meadows all of which can get very muddy in the winter and after wet weather so good waterproof boots are a must. There are two stiles (one with adjacent dog gate, and one low stone stile) plus a few kissing gates. Some of the fields may be holding cattle so take care with dogs. Approximate time 1.5 to 2 hours depending on the conditions underfoot.

Minster Lovell is about 2.5 miles west of Witney in Oxfordshire and is accessed from the A40 and then the B4047. The walk starts from outside the Old Swan Inn on the corner of School Hill and the High Street. Some roadside parking is available on the High Street (please be respectful of the local residents) or further up the High Street there is an area with about ten parking bays by the sign to the church. Approximate post code OX29 0RN.

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Walk Sections

Start to Stile
Start to Stile

Start point: 51.7991 lat, -1.5393 long
End point: 51.8032 lat, -1.5169 long

From the corner of School Hill and the High Street, walk up the High Street of Minster Lovell passing the Old Swan Inn on the left and then passing between a series of thatched cottages.

The village name was derived in two parts. The name Minster, recorded in 1086, derived from a late Anglo-Saxon minster on the site of the present church, and the suffix Lovell, was added from the 13th century in recognition of the chief landholding family.

Follow the pretty lane as it begins to climb gradually uphill. At the fork in the road, keep left signed to Crawley. Pass Orchard House on the right and then Manor House on the left. A little further on you’ll reach a national speed limit sign. A few paces later, turn right through a metal kissing gate onto the footpath marked with a circular walk sign. (Note the field may be holding cattle). Go straight ahead through the centre of the field.

At the far side pass through the gate and continue ahead on the enclosed footpath. Pass through a third kissing gate and continue on the now wider enclosed grass path as it begins to climb steadily. Carry on over the brow of the hill and follow the path as it narrows and begins to descend to reach a stile.

Stile to Farm Lane
Stile to Farm Lane

Start point: 51.8032 lat, -1.5169 long
End point: 51.8058 lat, -1.5107 long

Cross the stile and go ahead to join the stone and mud wide track climbing gradually under a tunnel of hedgerows and trees. (Be careful as this lane can be muddy and slippery in winter).

After some distance the track emerges onto Farm Lane in Crawley. Take a moment here to enjoy the views across the valley.

Farm Lane to Crawley Mill
Farm Lane to Crawley Mill

Start point: 51.8058 lat, -1.5107 long
End point: 51.8033 lat, -1.509 long

Turn right along Farm Lane. At the T-junction with The Lamb Inn visible to your left, turn right and follow the village road as it bends to the right. Ahead you will be able to see the traffic lights marking the position of the arched stone bridge over the river.

Follow the pavement over the bridge and on your right you will reach the site of Crawley Mill. Formerly part of the area’s blanket making industry, the mill is now a collection of small craft and business units.

Crawley Mill to Old Pump House
Crawley Mill to Old Pump House

Start point: 51.8033 lat, -1.509 long
End point: 51.7996 lat, -1.5226 long

With Crawley Mill on the right, cross over the road to turn left through the metal gate and onto the public bridleway signed to Witney. As you reach a choice of gates ahead, take the gate to the right and follow the field edge path uphill with the hedgeline to the right.

At the end of the field pass through the hedge gap, cross over the road with care and pass through the kissing gate opposite. Go straight over the narrow field and pass through the next gate ahead. Follow the fenced woodland path as it heads steeply downhill, taking care as the path can be slippery when wet.

At the bottom of the slope follow the path as it bends to the right and then turn left to exit the woodland through the kissing gate. Keep straight ahead through the pasture, keeping the hedge to your right. Pass through a further two metal kissing gates ahead, fork right through the next gate and then keep left to follow the path with the hedge now to the left.

Over to the right is the meandering River Windrush and there are often fisherman here hoping to catch the plentiful populations of trout, perch and roach that the river is home to.

Keep ahead through another gate and then as you reach the next gate you will see an old derelict brick building on the left, a former pump house.

Old Pump House to Minster Lovell Hall
Old Pump House to Minster Lovell Hall

Start point: 51.7996 lat, -1.5226 long
End point: 51.7998 lat, -1.5304 long

Go through the gate into the small wooded area. Follow the path winding through the woodland belt. As you come to a wide gate ahead, follow the path as it bears right over a pair of wooden sleeper bridges to cross the ditch. Follow the path alongside the river, taking care as the path can be muddy and slippery after wet weather.

Follow the path as it bends right over a sluice bridge and through a metal kissing gate ahead. Keep left along the grass footpath and through another pair of kissing gates to reach the ruins of Minster Lovell Hall. Take time to explore the ruins should you wish.

There has been a manor house at Minster Lovell since at least the 12th century, but the major part of the ruins today are those of a large new house built by William, Baron of Lovell and Holand, in the 1430s after his return from the French wars. To the west and south-east of the ruins you will see two large fish ponds, which supplied the household with fresh fish. The manor’s 15th century dovecote, a small circular building with a conical roof, survives intact and can be seen to the north-east of the site.

Minster Lovell Hall to End
Minster Lovell Hall to End

Start point: 51.7998 lat, -1.5304 long
End point: 51.7992 lat, -1.5388 long

When you have finished exploring the ruins make your way to the gate into the church yard, which is behind the main building of the ruins. Pass to the left of the church and cross the stone stile at the end of the church yard. Keep ahead on the fenced footpath (when we walked the route there were very friendly llamas in the enclosure to the left here!)

Cross over the narrow sleeper bridge and through a gate into the next field (which is likely to be holding cattle). Turn right to follow the right hand field boundary and pass through the wooden kissing gate at the far side. Fork left through the gate into Wash Meadow recreation ground.

Walk straight ahead towards the pavilion and cricket nets. Before you reach them, fork right to pass out through the gate back onto the High Street. Turn left for a few paces to reach the junction of roads where your walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2012 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


4 responses to "Minster Lovell and Crawley"

We spent three hours on this walk in glorious sunshine, and it lived up to all our expectations from the description of the walk. This is a lovely part of Oxfordshire and the walk takes in riverside banks, wide meadows, woods and a long ridge to say nothing of two attractive villages (Minster Lovell and Crawley). We parked in the car park to the right just over the bridge in Wash Meadow in Minster Lovell and walked from there to the church and ruins and therefore did the walk in reverse. Can recommend The Lamb in Crawley for half-way refreshments! All in all a delightful walk.

By rednib on 2014-05-18 22:44:06

Lovely, varied walk. 5 stars

By lucylarkman on 2015-06-14 18:50:59

Thoroughly enjoyed the walk with the family. Not too strenuous and there was a cricket match to enjoy as we ate lunch. The Lamb was a welcome stop for a refreshing drink too.

By neil40 on 2015-06-21 18:16:04

The lamb Inn in Crawley did exceptional food for lunch. Nice little garden, high chairs for children. The walk itself was varied and picturesque. Great walk.

By sarahlouiseh on 2016-09-12 07:29:47

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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2 images to "Minster Lovell and Crawley"

1565_0neil401434913720 Minster Lovell and Crawley Walking Guide Image by: neil40
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
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1565_0neil401434913859 Minster Lovell and Crawley Walking Guide Image by: neil40
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
IMG_1681.JPG

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