Pub Walks in the
The walk starts and finishes at the award-winning
Fountain Inn. The picturesque pub has expanded over the years into
the adjoining cottages but, despite its subtle changes, remains a
charming village pub. A building dating back to the early 18th
century, Fountain Cottage was the home of Clent builder and joiner,
William Phillips. His son appears to have opened the Fountain
Cottage first as a pleasure garden and tea room to cater for the
many visitors from the nearby industrialised area of the Black
Country. In 1855 he successfully applied for, and was granted a full
alehouse licence by Stourbridge Magistrates. Subsequently, Fountain
Cottage became known as The Fountain Inn.
Walk uphill in a south-easterly direction along Odnall Lane towards
the church. You can safely walk on an elevated path
passing the front of Hill Crest, a pretty brick house dating from
the mid-19th century. This was once the home of the
Bedfordshire-born grate manufacturer Jannion Steele Elliott.
Continue along the pavement of Odnall Lane until you reach Clent Cottage
on the left-hand side of the road. This is an interesting hotch-potch of
a building that has been converted into apartments. In the 19th century
this was the home of the Amphlett family. A significant landowner in
the area, John Amphlett financed the first school to be erected in
Clent in the early 18th century. A descendant, also named John,
wrote the highly-regarded "Short History of Clent" that was
published in 1890. Without being too intrusive, it is possible
to crane one's neck to see a lovely dovecote in the garden.
Continue along Odnall Lane. A few
yards further along and on the opposite side of Odnall Lane is the
aforementioned Charity School. It was built in 1705 and renovated and
enlarged in 1847. It was not until 1974 that the school was replaced by
a new building at Holy Cross. Continue along Odnall Lane until you reach
the crossroads next to the church. Look out for the sign
"Elsie Partington Walk" that tells you that you are following in the
footsteps of John Partington's wife. A former president of the Clent
Women's Institute and involved in many of the village's gatherings
and activities, she regularly walked this route between her home at
the School House to the church. She died in 1977 and the footpath
was dedicated to her two years later. Continuing in a south-easterly
direction walk straight over the crossroads. Pause for a view of the
church or take a detour around the building. Founded in the late 12th century, the
original church on this site was dedicated to St. Peter. The
building is tucked so closely into the slope of the hill that its
chancel is several feet higher than the rest of the building and has
developed a pronounced sideways tilt. St. Leonard's has an imposing and embattled tower.
The church grounds are entered through a large lychgate which was
erected as a memorial to Mrs. Harriett Moss Grazebrook who died in 1874. The
whole church was once covered with shingles, or wooden tiles made of
cleft oak and they remained until the late eighteenth century. In 1811,
a new vestry was built adjoining the church and in 1836 the church was
enlarged when the north aisle was built. The church was thoroughly
restored and partly rebuilt in 1864.
Walk uphill in a south-easterly direction.
Clent's other old school
which has since become a private dwelling is located close to the church
on the road to Walton Pool. This was built by the Durant family of Clent
Continue along Walton Pool Lane.
The lane bends around to the right and then left as it skirts around
the grounds of Clent Hall. Unfortunately for us nosy walkers, the
building is hidden from view. In the early 1890's the house was the
residence of home of Essex-born William D. Thatcher, rector of Romsley.
Continue along Walton Pool Lane.
There may be a change to the route here. Before the next road
junction one used to be able to cut the corner by using a public
footpath. However, the last time we walked this route, the gate was
locked so perhaps the path has closed to the public. If this is
still the case, simply walk the hundred yards or so to the next road
junction and turn left. After around a
hundred yards you encounter a track to the right. Here
you can pass through a gate and take the path through the field and
up to Walton Pool. At the top of the field the path narrows between
two fences. You then pass through a metal gate.
When you emerge from the path onto the road
turn right. Walton Pool is a quiet
little hamlet. Just on the right is Holly Cottage, a building that still has its old enamel signs
for cyclists which shows it was once used as a café. There is also a
King George post box embedded in the wall. On the opposite
side of the lane is The Gables, once a convalescent home for the
Ancient Order of Foresters. Continue past Holly
Cottage. The road bends around to the right and you
continue walking in a south-westerly direction past the attractive
row of white-painted cottages. You soon pass the road name sign of
Highfield Lane and carry on past the cul-de-sac on the left and walk
downhill. After a short distance you pass Walton Farm Cottages on
the right-hand side of the road where the lane bends to the left. Take
the next bridleway on the left. This wide track passes Walton Farm
and you can get a good view of this building on your left.
Continue along the bridleway in an easterly
direction. As you walk along the track the view of the
pasture land to the left is quite wonderful [see photograph to the
left]. The fields are divided with a variety of trees and shrubs and
the view extends up a shallow valley towards Walton Hill.
Continue along the bridleway in an easterly
direction as it heads downhill towards the woods. At the
array of metal gates, the track bends sharply to the right and you
then start the gradual ascent to Calcot Hill with the woodland to
your left. This is a nice steady climb with a crunchy path
underfoot. There is one section however that is a pebble bed gullet
that can get quite muddy in the winter. With increased height you can enjoy splendid views of the
landscape to the south. Calcot Hill Farm and the tall wind pump can
be seen ahead of you. The farm house is another lovely Georgian
building. One can appreciate the frontage without being a nuisance.
However, the footpath you follow is before the house. You will see a
few steps leading up to a metal gate next to a boulder. This
originated from the Arenig mountain range to the west of Bala in North
Wales. The boulder shifted to this location with the Welsh ice sheet
in the glacial period. Pass through the gate and follow the path
past the outbuildings of the farm. You walk uphill towards the
elevated waymarker. Follow the path to the
metal gate located in the tree line. The path turns left
[north] and follows the tree line and through a gate. You are now on
the North Worcestershire path and this section is a delightful
meander through the woodland. The narrow footpath follows the
contour with the woodland falling away to your right. Keep your eyes
peeled for foxes and badgers. You pass through a stile and the
landscape opens out with the valley to your right - you could almost
think you are in the Derbyshire peak district at this point as the
landscape is very similar. Ahead of you is
Walton Hill Farm and you follow the path towards this property.
There is a gate to negotiate close to the farm wall.
Walk a short distance to the second gate.
Pass through the gate and turn left, walking in a westerly
direction. The main path veers right but you head to the left [sort
of 11 o'clock] and maintain your general westerly direction. You
continue along the path with the low barbed-wire fence to your left
and the scrub to your right. There are some wooden benches en-route
with dedications to walkers and contemplators. Continue along the
path with the fence to your left. You are heading downhill and
shortly enter a wood. The surprising element of this walk is that
the descent of Nag Hill is quite severe and yet it didn't seem such
hard work to achieve the height in the first place. This is because
the climb to Calcot Hill is quite easy and continues uphill in a
very gradual manner to Walton Hill. The blue arrow indicates that this is a
bridleway but, to be honest, we haven't encountered horses on this
path despite walking it several times. May is a good time to walk
through this wood as there are bluebell carpets to savour. At the
end of the wood there is a stile and you emerge on the grassland
hill above St. Leonard's church. From here you can enjoy a marvellous
view to the hills in the distance. This really is a walk with
wonderful landscape appreciation. Follow
the worn path down the hill. The hill is quite sharp down
the the church. The path follows the brick wall of the churchyard
and emerges close to the lychgate. Turn
right and retrace your steps along Odnall Lane until you reach the
Fountain Inn. Whenever we follow this walk we enjoy
sitting outside the pub with our dog whilst tucking into a superb
hot open sandwich and some well-kept beer.
If you follow this walk and find it enjoyable
please send a little feedback.