Hawstead Suffolk

In Hawstead, Stanningfield on June 12, 2007 at 7:17 pm

5pm 6 miles in 50 mins 16 mins
Week to date mileage 6 miles

Month to date mileage 62

Average weekly rate 29.8 miles
Average monthly rate 129
Year to date 693

Lifetime 10286

Hawstead the place of shelter for cattle according to Ekwall. This was my starting point for today. Hawstead is a small village about 3 miles south of Bury. Instead of the hurley burley of the A 134 Bury to Sudbury road give this road a go but allow extra time. If you follow the road out by Nowton Park you can pass through Hawstead, Lawshall and Shimpling and join up on the A134 around Alpheton – makes a pleasant change.

I parked at the totally deserted Hawstead Green next to the playground. An entertaining game of football could be held here in the long grass. It looks as if the village has achieved its target for raising funds for a village hall not sure when or where this will be built.

I decided to head out on the Lawshall Road past the fine pub the Metcalfe Arms.

Along the Lawshall Road near the Newhall Farm there is a marking on the OS Map Explorer 211 which simply says Oak! I must admit I didn’t particularly notice which oak this might be but why even mention unless there is some historical reason. I managed to find out that traveling clergymen used to stop at the Gospel Oak to say a prayer perhaps when on a trip to the monastery at Bury St Edmunds. I did see a very old tree which was much the worse for wear but didn’t take a photo so know I will have to revisit.

The road here is windy and undulating and can be a little busy. So I turned off at the first footpath that I could which was just beyond the Gospel Oak. Here the footpath was along a car track which had obviously been wet but had now dried to form ridges. Running along here was challenging either balancing on the top of ridges or sinking in the centre of the tyre tracks. However the first section was under tress offering some shade from the warm sunshine. I manged to startle some deer but didn’t have time to catch them on camera.

I was soon running through the middle of a wheat field taking me downhill before passing a spring and then heading sharply up hill and emerging at Old Lane Stanningfield Little Rookwood Farm. This area was a Catholic stronghold and the home of Ambrose Rookwood who was one of the conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot in 1605. He was hung drawn and quartered.

I returned back to Hawstead by the same paths. In Hawstead I did a few laps of the wonderful village green. Once again I had the entire run to myself and never saw another person on the run.

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