Firsdown Paths Group

Wiltshire Council has frozen the clearing, repairing and maintaining budget, of the county’s 3600 miles of Rights of Way with the exception where there is a danger to life and limb.

FIRSDOWN now have a small group of volunteers to clear and maintain our paths.

RECENT PATHS WORKS IN THE PARISH ( Firsdown Paths Group )

Since the last Firsdown Council Meeting in April the following has been completed

  1. The bridleway crossing the Roman Road beyond Gorden Peters bungalow has been cleared westward at Gordon’s request and eastward to the point where the Monarchsway turns left into the field, near the Mobile Phone Mast.
  2. The Monarchsway footpath down the dip and up to stables next to Clearway garage has been cleared.
  3. The vegetation on the other side of the A30 where the Monarchsway crosses inside the kissing gate has been cleared.
  4. Waymarking posts have been installed at intervals along the circular walk (along the Roman Road and across the top field to the A30 bus shelter area) and on the Monarchsway to clarify both routes to visitors, walkers, and new Firsdown residents.
  5. A recycled post has been installed at the junction of the path from Gorden Peters bungalow and the Roman Road with his permission.

PLANNED WORK

Clear all Parish Rights of Way from play area north to A30, perhaps beyond if we can get volunteers. Play area east to Dunstable needs to be agreed. We hope to discourage wheeled traffic from exercising their rights by keeping the path at pedestrian width.

  1. As volunteers we have no obligation to clear the Roman Road (Byway Open to All Traffic) and bridleway for traffic and horses and intend to keep those routes clear only for walkers.
  2. Install a recycled post next to the play area to attach a circular walk finger sign.
  3. Replace the stile on the “Monarch’s Way” where it crosses the fence just down from the mobile phone mast and opposite side with a galvanised gate and a couple of steps.

Clarendon Way Walk

Firsdown  is only a couple of miles from the  famous Clarendon Way walk, a 24 mile walk joining the two Wessex cities of Winchester and Salisbury crossing the Test Valley between Kings Somborne and Houghton. It starts beside the waters of the Itchen in the heart of Winchester and ends near the Avon at Salisbury Cathedral. It provides a splendid variety of scenery along the way, ranging from the water meadows of the valleys with their charming villages through woodland – ancient as well as modern – to downlands with far-ranging views.

The Clarendon Way is named from Clarendon Park on the eastern edge of Salisbury. The Park contains the site of Clarendon Palace, a royal hunting lodge for Norman Kings, but later expanded by the Plantagenets into a great county house. Almost nothing remains now, only a few feet of flint wall lying a few yards from the Clarendon Way.

At Winchester one sees smaller remains which are even older, a few stones beside the River Itchen which are all that survive from the Roman wall built around the City in the 3rd Century. A mile down the valley lies the hospice of St Cross where even 400 years ago the choir boys carved their names on the stalls in the chapel.

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Monarch’s Way Association

The “Monarch’s Way” Association is very pleased to thank everyone involved in this superb result. Especially and in no particular order Nick Cowan (Wiltshire Rights of Way). Also the Firsdown Footpath Group who have not only been working very very hard to ensure the route is clear in this area but have pushed for these improvements to take place.

The “Monarch’s Way” Association promotes the 625 mile Historical Monarch’s Way, which is the escape route of King Charles II after his defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651. The route starts in Worcester and continues to its end at Shoreham near Brighton where King Charles II escaped in a little ship to France

Promotion is much easier when we are confident that the route is safe for all our members

I walked that section before the changes had been made and it was dangerous, the photographs show how much safer it is now.

Huge congratulations and our very sincere thanks to everyone involved

Very Best Wishes

John Tennant
General Manager The Monarch’s Way Association

Firsdown Circular Walk

Firsdown Circular Walk starts at the easterly end of Firs Road furthest form the A30. Suggested parking is in Firs Road,  not on the pavement please, or alternatively in a side road.

There is a finger post indicating Roman Road right angles to Firs Road at the extreme east end of Firs Road. The path from Firs Road takes you on to the Roman Road. Head west into the woods at the end of the field. At the brow of the hill there is shorter alternative circular walk where you can turn right across a well marked path taking you back into the top end of Firs Road. Continuing the Firsdown circular walk – At the next junction turn right down the bridleway then left across a stile to follow the path down a dip with fencing on both sides and up to cross the A30. Keep dogs on lead once through the metal gate as there is livestock in the paddock.

The A30 crossing is extremely busy with fast moving traffic and we suggest crossing the road one person at a time. Up the bank, through the kissing gate and continue up to Figsbury Rings. A stile takes you into the rings. This hill fort has an outer ditch and mound with a second inner ditch which dates the monument as earlier than many of the hill forts in the area. Return along the path back, across the A30 and beyond the phone mast on your left to the point mentioned earlier where you can turn left and cross a cultivated field to come out at the top of Firs Road. Then back along the pavement to the start point.