Thursday, June 15, 2006

Assington Suffolk


5pm 6.1 miles in 48 minutes 39 seconds

Week to date mileage 12

Month to date mileage 64

Average weekly rate 31.4

AverageMonthly rate 137

Year to Date 745

Life time 8523

Tonight I came of the A134 at the village of Assington which is a few miles away Sudbury and a near neighbour of Great Cornard and Leavenheath. I have never been to Assington before but it is a a lovely retreat from the busy main road. I parked near the interestingly named pub the Shoulder of Mutton and set of for a run down the main road. The pub was apparently so named as the publican back in 1844 was also the village butcher.

In the doomsday book Assington is recorded as having a poulation of 79 and more recently the 1981 census showed a there were 383 inhabitants so this is a small village.

In the pub I could see there was a fair crowd watching the England v Trinidad world cup game. I listened trying to sense any mood of confidence or depression but it just seemed to be a few calls of hit it so I was none the wiser what the score was. In retrospect when I finally got home I caught the best part of the game the final 20 minutes!

In Assington I soon picked up a footpath leading over private land with a permitted foot path for locals into woodland. The woods have a curious name Assington Thicks. The wood is now quite small and all tht remains of an apparently ancient wood. I kept to a waymarked path but several times I was tempted to drift of in many different directions as there appeared to be well trodden paths but the ordance survey clearly only marks one straight path as being permitted.The woods were full of wild flowers a purple bell flower, dog wood roses and honey suckle.

At the end of the woods I followed a path along a field edge past big fields of broad beans which were in flower. I emerged on a minor road with the foreground dominanted by a large mast which is marked o the OS map as a television station near Appletree Woods.

I returned by the same route and saw a large Roe Deer grazing in an open area of poppies. It darted back into the woods before I could photograph it. I returned back into Assington and decided to head up towards the church I have often seen from the main road but never stopped to visit. I ran up hill past Hill farm (well named!) until I saw a path which led me along a driveway which was full of sheep. At the end of the drive it appeared that I had arrived in someones private property and there appeared to be the ruins of a house but no access to the church.

So I returned along the road to a path I had seen which appeared to led to a caravan and tent site but turned out to be a direct route to the church. The church is called St Edmund and it stands in the grounds of Assington Park. Apparently Assington Hall was gutted by a major fire back in 1957. Its origins seem to be a little bit of a mystery and the site might have originally have been a monastery in the 14th century.

Assington Hall was owned by the Gurdon family for many years and Oliver Cromwell is said to have stayed as a guest at the hall. Like many villages Assington was centered around the church but it seems the Gurdon family was so powerful that the locals were moved to their present location which is about half a mile away in the 18th century.

Back in Assington I had just time to head down another pathway across a meadow which leads to a large water tower before returning for home.

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