Mortimer - Wokefield Common - Burghfield Common Circular

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This walk was originally contributed by Tony Brotherton. The walk, which takes you to the north of Mortimer across Mortimer Common and to and from Wokefield Common, is over an area which is mostly heathland and pine forest, dotted with ponds and criss-crossed with streams, rather typical of the Hampshire - Berkshire borders.

You start the walk beside the Horse and Groom on Mortimer's 'Fairground and Grazing Area', an historic open space amenity in the centre of the village, which has been available to the residents of the parish since mediaeval times.

Its status was formalised in 1804 when the enclosure movement came to Mortimer and farmland was redistributed; the Fair Ground however, was preserved as 'an area at or near a certain Place called the Horse and Groom, not exceeding twenty Acres, for the Purpose of holding and keeping the annual Fair called Mortimer Fair'. A cattle fair was still being held, on 6th November, as recently as 1923; see Sources below.

The walk takes you through land belonging to the Englefield Estate. This covers some 14,000 acres in Berkshire and North Hampshire, including farmland, forestry, residential and commercial property. During WW1 this area saw the felling of large quantities of timber by Canadian lumberjacks to help war supplies.

Wokefield Park is now a huge conference and golfing complex, centred on a Georgian mansion-house, although there was a house, possibly Tudor, on the site earlier. You can see the back of the mansion in walking between Waymarks 5 and 7.

Mortimer Railway Station, just off the route of this walk, but possibly on your drive home, is a Grade II listed building. Designed by Brunel in 1848 and therefore originally broad gauge, it lies on the Reading to Basingstoke line, which was laid under Brunel's personal direction. It is apparently one of the most unaltered of Brunel's wayside stations.

Waymark 11 through to Waymark 15 can be confusing as there are many unsigned paths. Please follow route as described to avoid missing the tree-house. A compass, map or GPS device are recommended as a backup.

England - South England - Berkshire - Countryside

Features

Birds, Good for Kids, Pub, Restaurant, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
20/03/2011 - Andrew Long

13 March 2011 - Walk reviewed and updated by Author. GPX file is now 'in sync' with instructions.

27/01/2010 - Adrian Perkins

Thanks to Andrew Long for his updates. Walk updated January 2010.

10/04/2008 - Walkingworld Administrator

Thanks to Richard Clayton this walk was updated April 2008.

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