AboutThis route gives spectacular views across much of Lanchester Parish. Some of this route is on roads and care should be taken to follow the advice of the Highway Code.
Starting from Lanchester village centre follow the B6296 up Cadger Bank. Longovicium, the site of a Roman fort stands on the left hand side. It was built during the middle of the 1st century AD and was in use through the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. The fort was a rectangular shape with four entrances. It was surrounded by a ditch with a second ditch in some places. The remains of the headquarters buildings, a bathhouse and some barrack buildings have been found. The remains of the large stone walls can still be seen in places and were sketched by Samuel Hieronymous Grimm, a Swiss topographical artist, in the 1750s. This is a Scheduled Ancient Monument protected by law. (No public access).
Turn left onto the footpath to Middlewood Farm bear left through farmyard through gate and turn right following field edge to next stile. Over stile head diagonally to bottom right hand corner of field and cross two stiles then head diagonally across field. Cross two stiles and head downhill following field edge over a stile and through next gate. Follow cobbled drive downhill past farmhouse and over stile following track to bridge.
On the right hand side of Bleach Green (possibly a drying place) the remains of a tram line can be seen. This area was once the site of coal mining activity. Colepike Drift, Ragpath Drift and Cornsay Colliery were linked by tramways and aerial cables. Some of the miners, who were employed by Ferens and Love, were housed at Hollinside Terrace which stands nearby, adjacent to the B6296. Drift mine shafts entered the side of the hillside whereas deep mines were sunk as vertical shafts.
Continue across the footbridge to the lane and turn right. At bend in lane take footpath on right and follow wall along the field edge to field end and turn left to gate. Through gate turn right along road and take next footpath on left. Continue uphill following field
edge to top of field and turn right heading along hillside to road. Turn left onto road then right at junction to Cornsay village.
The draw well on the green in Cornsay was once the main source of water for the village, the dedication over the door is believed to date back to the seventeenth century.
Returning to Lanchester walk back towards Cornsay Lane then follow road along ridge top. There are spectacular views across the River Browney valley. Humber Hill can be seen to the north and Colepike Hall is just visible through a shelter belt of mature trees. ‘Cold Pig Hill’ was part of the estate of Hannah Newton a coal heiress who married ‘Stoney’ Bowes and died as a result of his ill treatment at Colepike Hall. The hall was occupied by the Taylor Smith family during the nineteenth century (Grade II) (No public
access). The town of Consett is visible to the north where the hillside was dominated by the mighty Consett Steel Company from 1840 until the 12th September 1980 when the works were closed down.
Continue towards Square House carrying straight on at cross roads. At end of trees take footpath on left and head diagonally across field over stile and across next field to stile in stone wall. Turn left down Bargate Bank back into Lanchester village past Greenwell Ford.
Greenwell Ford was built in the early 19th century (Grade II), but is believed to be on the site of an earlier house owned by the Greenwell family (No public access). Doctor William Greenwell (1820-1918) a noted historian, archaeologist and author, was made Canon of Durham Cathedral in 1854. His sister Dora (1821-1882) was a poet.
- Distance: 5-10 Miles
- Grade: Moderate
- Route Surface: Off Road
- Route Surface: On Road
- Theme: Heritage
- In countryside
- Walk Distance - 7 miles