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Penkridge Circular Day Hiking Staffordshire England UK

Penkridge Circular Day Hiking Staffordshire

Penkridge Circular Day Hiking Staffordshire was an 8.5 miles day hiking trip I undertook with and my partner Anne and two friends during a weekend in October 2010.

Penkridge Day Hiking Staffordshire Video

Penkridge Day Hiking Staffordshire

This video slideshow shows the highlights of this Penkridge Day Hiking Staffordshire trip.

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Penkridge Day Hiking Staffordshire Route

Our route for the Penkridge Circular Day Hiking Staffordshire was in a wide clockwise direction using footpaths, bridleways and country lanes. First we hiked east towards Cannock Chase, then south through Teddesley Park until we hit a road. We then hiked south west via Pillaton until we reached the M6 motorway bridge and then hiked north along the canal. I was told that if I was observant and lucky, I may get to see deer in the woodland, unfortunately I didn’t.

Penkridge Day Hiking Staffordshire Local Info

Penkridge

Penkridge is a historic market town, not far from Cannock Chase and has held a market for over 600 years. It is located in the South Staffordshire District of Staffordshire County, in England. It lies 5 miles south of Stafford and about 10 miles north of Wolverhampton on the River Penk. It also lies on the A449 and is about half way between the M6 motorway junctions 12 and 13. The Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal cuts the town in two and is very popular with boating enthusiasts, casual walkers and hikers. The area around Penkridge is a lovely combination of woodland, farmland, country lanes and tracks with wonderful views.

Penkridge has the lovely St. Michael’s Church which was constructed of Penkridge Stone in 1180 with various improvements over the centuries. Built by the Littleton family, the Littleton Arms became the hub of the village and has dominated Penkridge for almost 400 years. It was built in the 18th century on land which had once belonged to the church. Penkridge used to be a thriving village in the golden age of coaching prior to the roads being widened for the modern motor car.

Farming used to be central to Penkridge village life and its market still remains the site for a cattle auction in the area. The village was famous for racehorses and held an annual horse fair. Penkridge has been visited by a number of famous names including Sir Robert Peel, the Duke of Wellington, John Wesley, Handel, George Orwell, and Daniel Defoe.

There are plenty of notable buildings in Penkridge including: “Haling Dene”, built for a retired bishop; the half-timbered Tudor cottage, “Reynard’s Cottage”; the 17th century “Wyre Hall”; the public library, formerly a saving bank, police station and magistrates’ court; the 15th century “Crook Cottage” and the “Old Gaol” with stocks outside it; the “William Harding House”, dated 1673; St. Michael’s School, constructed in 1818; left of the school is the “Gothic House” which was constructed for the school headmaster; the Star Inn; the 17th century “Manor House”; a Tudor, half-timbered building named “Two Steps”, formerly the “Blacksmiths Arms”; “Church Farm”, a half-timbered house with a great hall; the “Old Deanery” with stone centre and timber-framed wings; the White Hart on the main road; the “Bowcroft Cottages” and the “Alms Houses”. All things considered, Penkridge has quite a lot of history to see and is well worth a visit.

Teddesley Park & Home Farm

At some period between 1742 and 1754, Teddesley Hall was constructed by Sir Edward Littleton, 4th baronet. In 1767, Teddesley Home Farm was constructed and a wooden overshot water wheel was installed in 1820 in order to power a stationary threshing machine. In 1838 the wooden wheel was replaced by an iron one. In 1930, when the 3rd Baron Littleton died, the Littleton family moved a little further south to Hatherton Hall.

During World War II, Teddesley Hall was requisitioned by troops and also as a camp for prisoner of war. In 1918 Tolkien was posted to the camp and historians have reported that he resided at Cottage 1, Gipsy Green, on the Teddesley Park Estate. After the war the hall remained empty until 1954 when it was demolished. However, the Service and Stable block was retained. Teddesley Park Bridge, now number 89 on the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal used to be more decorative and had the local name of “Fancy Bridge”.

Pillaton & Pillaton Hall Farm

The Domesday Book does not have a record of Pillaton but later charters describe a settlement called Pilatehala which is an old name and most likely means “Pilla’s hollow”. At some point in history the name changed to Pillaton, which means “Pilla’s farmstead”.

Pillaton used have a medieval moated manor house known as “Pillaton Hall” but all that remains now is the restored 15th century “Pillaton Hall Gatehouse” and “Chapel”, dedicated to “Saint Modwen”. The Littleton family acquired the Pillaton estate through a marriage in the 15th century but in the middle of the 18th century they abandoned the Hall as their residence and constructed Teddesley Hall as their new mansion, which was demolished in 1954.

Pillaton Hall Farm is now on the site of Pillaton Old Hall and boasts a camping and caravan site, fishing facilities and business units for office, light manufacturing and retail use. The camping and caravan site has been created for families and is great for children as they have a play area with swings, slides, climbing frames and a large sandpit. With regards to fishing, there are four well stocked fishing pools. Constructed by the Pearce family in the late 1990s, the pools have been frequently stocked with quality fish from some of the UK’s oldest lakes.

Pillaton Airfield, approximately 0.75 miles south west of Pillaton between the M6 Motorway and a disused railway line was created during World War II as RAF Penkridge. Although shut down after the war, it was reopened recently for use by private light aircraft, especially microlites.

When Done & With Whom

Penkridge Circular Day Hiking Staffordshire was an 8.5 miles day hiking trip I undertook with and my partner Anne and two friends during a weekend in October 2010. We drove from our home in Birmingham to the starting location by the side of the road at the North Gate Lock by the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal, about 1 mile north of Penkridge (grid ref. SJ936159), in Staffordshire, England.

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