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Sarratt WI - Walk Number Three

About four and a half miles
 
Dawes Common – The Splash – Mount Wood – Goldingtons - The Cock – Newhall Farm Drive – Dimmocks Lane
 
 
A varied walk in the Chess Valley especially enjoyable in Spring when the wildflowers are at their best.
 
With your back to the Village Hall turn left and walk up the Green almost to the end. Take the footpath on your left at Mortons Cottage, a short distance past the Victorian postbox.
 
 
 
Go through the kissing gate into the field, keep the hedge on your left and negotiate another kissing gate into Dawes Common which in the month of May is a sea of bluebells.
 
 (left photo)
 
 
 
 
Walk forward and down through the Common until the path emerges on Dawes lane. 
 
Continue down the lane to the end and turn right along Sarratt Bottom, and then left along a concrete drive to Valley Farm. (right photo)

 
On your left are the last commercial watercress beds on the Chess. 

 
Cross the footbridge over the Splash on the River Chess and a few yards along Holloway Lane go left into Mount Wood, rich in wild flowers. 
 
 
 
Continue straight ahead through the wood roughly parallel with the river and go through the kissing gate at the end. 
 
Turn left across the water meadow, a haven for dragon flies and other wetland wildlife.
    
  
    
Cross the wooden footbridge and the next concrete bridge with stile and turn right alongside the river. 
 
Go through the kissing gate, pass a pair of cottages and take the path on your left uphill, eventually passing Goldingtons on you left.
(left photo)
 
Notice the medieval crop terracing.
 
 

Cross the stile, cross the drive, head for the church and go through the kissing gate. 

Leaving Holy Cross Church on your left and Day’s Almhouses on your right cross the road to The Cock public house.

 
In spite of the resplendent cockerel on the pub sign, the original “cock” probably referred to the cock horse, from the time when horse-drawn vehicles rested their horses here after climbing up the steep hill from the mill by the river.
 
Take the footpath signposted Micklefield Green from The Cock car park into a thicket, cross the stile and walk diagonally uphill through a grazing field to a double stile. After this, walk alongside the hedge towards the road where you turn sharp right round the edge of the field.

At the first stile, cross the road carefully and take the footpath directly opposite at the side of Woodwalks Cottages. Two more stiles takes you to Newhall Farm Drive. Go left here for about 300 yards then go left through a large arable field to emerge at the corner of Deadmans Ash Lane and Dimmocks Lane. A short walk right up Dimmocks Lane will take you back to the Village Hall.
 
NOTES:
 
1) Goldingtons

One of the earliest records shows Peter de Goldington holding land here in 1236.
In 1595 it was sold to William Kingsley of Rooshall (Rosehall)
Thomas Clutterbuck of the Stanmore brewing family acquired it in the early 19th century, and the Clutterbuck family lived here until 1976 and were generous benefactors to the village.
  

2) Newhall Farm
 
Records show that the site was owned by St Albans Abbey. In 1528 it was leased to a Thomas Johnson.  Roman coins and brick and tile remnants have been found near the farmhouse.