Burlescombe via Holcombe Rogus Circular

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The walk starts at the Fossend Canal Bridge in Burlscombe; there is a rough piece of ground next to the bridge for parking. An optional detour up the hill to St Mary's Church in the centre of Burlscombe is worthwhile just for the views over the valley and Blackdown Hills, also across Devon and Somerset. Once inside the church there are monuments to the Ayshford family which date back to the 16th and 17th Centuries. The family seat was in the village from the reign of Henry 1 to the 17th Century.

Once back at the start of the walk it takes you along the Grand Western Canal and on to quiet country lanes, reaching small villages like Holcombe Rogus. The village is worth exploring because just past the post office is All Saints' Church and further on is Holcombe Court.

The All Saints' Church of today is east of the original Norman church ruins and the south aisle dates back to the 13th Century, where the south porch was built in 1343. The dominating feature is the court pew, which is surrounded by a carved screen. Just a bit further on than the church is Holcombe Court, privately owned and restored in 1970 to much of its former glory. This is an attractive smaller 16th Century manor-house set in its own wooded grounds which unfortunately are not open to the public.

In the village of Holcombe Rogus there are odd drinking wells; this is because the water supply to the village was not installed until the 1950s.

Also along the route is the Waytown Tunnel, where the canal disappears into the side of a hill. Because the tunnel is narrow there is no towpath for towing the barges by horse, which is why there are long lengths of chain with iron rings so that the barge workers could lie on their backs and pull the canal barges through the tunnel, propelled just by human muscle. Barges transported lime from the limekilns which can still be seen on the bank of the Grand Western Canal. This was very important for the existence of the canal.    

England - South West England - Devon - Canal Walk


Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Church, Flowers, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Mostly Flat, Nature Trail, Play Area, Pub, Public Transport, River, Wildlife, Woodland
9/4/2014 - Bertie The Dog

This walk ticked all the boxes for us...we were enroute to the West Country, and needed to break the journey. This was perfect, very easy to follow, easy walking on good surfaces, a lovely canal side stretch at either end.....and all just a few minutes off the motorway. We resumed our journey refreshed and very happy. Lovely walk.

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Distance away
22.4 Miles
26.7 Miles