Peterborough Ramblers venture forth: 22 May 2024



Eastton on the Hill is a truly remarkable place, not least for its name.  East of town … but from where?  Or from whence?   We are not told!

Easton on the Hill is thus a village on the very edge.   In this case the very edge of North Northamptonshire, so very much on the edge that there are some who feel that as they venture into this village they are already upon the world of Rutland.  But no this is not so, for this is a civil parish of North Northmptonshire and one can’t get much more north north than that.

The village has a population of approximately 1000 and thus when Peterborough Ramblers turned up en masse, as it were,  we increased the community by a whopping great two percent.   And not many can claim to have done that.

The village sits beside and behind the A43 meaning that those of us walking were able to drive unto the very site of the walk’s departure point, for within surrounding land, streets there are a-plenty each willing to give up a few square feet for the visiting motorist.

This ancient parish runs to the River Welland the older part of the village located north of the High Street. The parish extends from the River Welland which it is said flows an astonishing 65 miles to enter the sea at the Wash, of which it has also been said.

The village is also said to be on the shortest boundary in England. 

However these historical and geographic matters were as  nought compared to the more vital process of the count.  And indeed that is what happened with not a single person being amiss.

Now of course I could keep you on tenterhooks as to whether we all made it back, but since I have never been quite sure what a tenterhook actually is, nor how it might differ from any other type of hook. I cannot.  No one it seemed had a ready supply of such objects, so we missed that part of the occasion, and instead, we progressed out of the village.

As it happens I am not a religious person but I must admit to being moved by the sheer magnificence of this church, which dominates the village.   How vast, how magnificent, how bold to have such a building service such a small community.

As I say I am no aficionado of religious buildings, nor indeed anything religious, but even I was moved by the magnificence of the construction serving as it does such a modest number of people.

From respect and the need to get on with the walk we did not venture into the graveyard, nor did I deem it proper to take photographs directly of it, but I can say it again was of significant size leading one to assume that a lot of people have passed away.

And thus we moved on still within this rather amazing village containing as it does buildings of every size and shape, from the grand dwellings of the rich to the humble cottages of those who have not yet won the lottery.

And indeed it appears that the whole village is occupied – and without a vast overflow of cars.  There were some parked in the streets of course, before we all arrived, but it would appear that a certain number of households here do not have a car, or the owner of the car was out at work as we passed by.

But working where I wondered?  Stamford itself provides some employment true, but beyond that, I am not sure.

Hitcher and yon appeared the signs of distant populations but these were clearly settlements that had not brought their modernism upon which they were built into the quiet and calm of Eastton on the Hill.

We looked down and indeed I had something of a feeling that those below were looking up, wondering at who these strangers were, walking in a line, being careful not to disturb the environment, but taking in every aspect of the life around.

Chimneys there were but they remained in the distance, troubling us not, part of another land, a different world a world of which we were not partaking upon this venture.  A world we would leave unto those who liked cement and all that goes with it.  “Please keep out” as the sign said.

That we mused, as we passed by, was not for us.

Thus we descended, not via the gate but instead, engaging in our traditional transportation mode of being on foot and in single file we walked onward, unknowing (apart from our leader) what was yet to come and from whence it came, but certain that it would all be jolly interesting.

And indeed it was, and such was the interest in coming from the road, through the little village and into the open countryside in such a few paces we began the descent.

To where we were descending I was certainly not sure but I felt safe in the knowledge that those “up front” to use the nautical term, had maps and compasses sufficient to service the needs of the “walkers” as we like to be called.

But where would this path lead and indeed what was there to be discovered?  I for one being from the western side of the province was not sure, but I was told it would be well worth the walk, and as they say in common parlance “jolly good”.  More shall be revealed in part the second.

Thus I shall hope to be reporting more, and with added photography, upon the morrow.


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