Wednesday Walk : Greatford – Wilsthorpe -Braceborough.

We met opposite the notable red telephone and post boxes in the centre of the village on the main road. A natty knitter had created a very marvellous D-Day Commemorative post-box topper depicting a Lancaster Bomber. So began our 4m circular walk starting in the pretty village of Greatford. With no rain forecast it was a perfect day for this walk.

Circular from Greatford
The route

Greatford village soon gave way to a field-side track in the direction of Wilsthorpe.

June is a good month for wild flowers and birdsong whilst out walking. Jo’s route was a gentle stroll that combined very picturesque villages; typical of Lincolnshire with many stone built houses and barns amidst cottage gardens with paths across wide-open wheat and bean fields. The skies changed constantly as the mild wind brought patches of clear skies and thunderous rain clouds in turn.

At Wilsthorpe we explored the 1715 church of St Faith of Acquitane. Rather European in style the church tower and West entrance have a neo-classical feel rather than the usual Medieval church of many centuries of aisle additions and changes. The 80th D-Day commemorations were noted by the church wardens here with a small display remembering local servicemen.

What was most appealing – and take your grandchildren to see this – was the ancient graffiti that is carved into the West wall and inside the porch. Below are a few snapshots of the very many creative carvings left by those earlier villagers.

There is a fascinating medieval effigy – once declared an 18th century fake by Pevesner, which clearly comes from an earlier church.

Effigy in Wilsthorpe Church

We enjoyed the sight of skylarks leaping from the crop and hovering noisily before dropping back down to their nest sites. All too soon we we passed through Braceborough, not stopping for another splendid church and arriving back to the Greatford where we looked down on the river Glen passing through some very fine gardens.

There are different pronunciations and spellings for this village’s name, including Greatford, Gritford, and Gretford. The name could be derived from its location on a gravel or ‘grit’ ford of the West Glen River.

Greatford is listed in the 1086 Domesday book as “Greteford” and “Griteford”.

Thanks to the 6 walkers who shared their company and conversation.

Below are Jilly’s recollections to add to mine.

I just thought it might be interesting to add wildlife we saw: baby wrens in a hedge being fed by parents; a wonderful red kite that flew so low and kept us company for a while making high pitched calls; a beautiful deer in a field that leapt and bounded away after taking a long look at us all; skylarks rising from their ground nests and singing beautifully. I’m sure there was more …

 Also the young woman who overtook us in a lane on her skateboard being pulled along by her rather beautiful dog and, in a garden in Greatford – an unusual guitar sculpture made of big metal pieces. Amazing! Jilly.