Wayward Wanderers Walking Group

Escot Park, Talewater

March 15, 2010, prb, Comments: 0

A gentle walk in warm weather, for a change

Escot Park happened to be very popular with those needing to celebrate Mothering Sunday, so we met behind the walled garden, a short way away from the house.  The walk took us first back past the garden entrance and the coach house, then and up an enclosed track past the estate's Ice House.  The vista opened up shortly as our path entered open fields, and we came across a dramatic dead tree .......

....and one of the estate's growing collection of outdoor sculptures.  Soon we joined the lane running from Beacon Cross to Talewater.  Here we headed north-east over the railway line, and on to the junction with the Talaton-Feniton road at Half Moon Farm.  Turning right here we passed the small business area at Talewater Works as we headed east.  

Soon we crossed over the railway again, and before long we turned off the road and took to a footpath route leading us across a series of fields made fragrant by the nearby pigs.   Our next landmark was Black Aller Covert (For Aller read Alder in present terminology), a narrow strip of woodland shaped like a right-angle.  We took the track through the wood.  

At its southern extremity the noise of the dual carriageway A30 became pervasive.  But we had to go closer to it, and indeed under it, to reach our next port of call, the diminutive Escot Church.  This, little more than a chapel, is the Escot estate's church, and its well-tended churchyard is notable for the several graves of various members of the Kennaway family.  It iis such a shame that it has been separated from Escot House and the bulk of the park by the road, and that road noise has so degraded its ambience.  Still, that's progress, and progress that the best efforts of Swampy and his friends could not stop.

We paused here for some photos ..........

........and for reflection among the graves before heading back under the road and in the direction of Escot House.  

Here we followed close to the River Tale.  This normally minor watercourse became a raging torrent on the night of the severe October storm two years ago that caused flooding in Ottery St Mary, and an amazing deluge of hail/snow that left the town reeling for some time after. Of course, although the deluge was incredibly localised, it also affected other nearby settlements such as Feniton, quite severely, and many people suffered the trauma of flooded homes.  The storm also raised the water level in the Tale to such an extent that several bridges were taken out.  One at least of these was on the Escot estate, and our route took us over it, newly rebuilt, its arch now standing well proud of the river course.  

Before we reached that bridge, we paused to sit on some wooden seats artfully arranged in a semi-circle under the trees of a small copse, .......

........admiring the workmanship of their witty wooden carvings,........

...... and the hemispherical centrepiece,....

...... all thoughtfully provided by the Tale Valley Trust, although not primarily for people of our age, I suspect.

From here it was a short amble back past the facade of the house and then to the coach house for refreshment.  There was more interest on the way, though, with the wooden scorpion installation on our left .......

and the fierce looking wild boar ....... 

.........on our right.

Our thanks for this pleasant and remarkably interesting afternoon go to Tricia.

For the statistically minded, this walk covered about 4.7 miles and involved 128m of climb.  An easy afternoon indeed.  The route plot has been uploaded to GPSies


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