SITE 222 THOMAS BABINGTON'S CARRIAGEWAY

IF YOU WOULD PREFER A SHORT WALK ALONG THE CARRIAGEWAY THEN TAKE THIS ROUTE:

This is an area of the Rothley countryside that could see big changes in 2014 with so much building. The following record is important to show how lovely it was in 2005

THOMAS BABINGTON'S CARRIAGEWAY

Date: 14th May 2005

Observers: Marion Vincent and Brian Verity

Location: From the old A6, through South Hall Field (Site 160), over the fields to the Rothley Temple.

OS Ref: SK59001210-SK57701230

Map Title: Site222

Owners: Various according to the fields it runs through:

1)South Hall Field Site 160

2)Brookfield Site 220

3)Short Browns Ward Site 223

4) Thorney Wong Site 227

5) Bridge Close Site 210

6) Cricket Ground Field Site 120 (Rothley Park, Great Brick Close)

7) Rothley Temple (Rothley Court Hotel) Site 115

This is the carriageway constructed by Thomas Babington who spent his retirement from his parliamentary career on improving his estate at The Temple by planting trees, building a bridge and laying out a carriageway. It took him from his home, Rothley Temple, over the fields to the main road then down the Bridle Road to Wanlip, which joined the main road to Syston.

The part through Rothley Parish is now only partly lined with trees; many are ancients, others more recent and plenty of evidence of ancient stumps. I want to record all the trees and features along this part of the carriageway.

12th November 2005

This morning was spent just looking at the route that the carriageway would have taken, taking photographs and just making visual discoveries to be recorded when we start this part of the project.

We started off on the old A6 slip road to record the site of The Lodge but there is no evidence of the building. There is parkland railing along part of the hedgerow. The carriageway through South Hall Field, Site 160, is clearly defined so no problem in locating where the Lodge once stood. The trees through South Hall Field on either side of the carriageway are a mixture of previously recorded Ancient Trees and younger ones. The carriageway rises to the top of South Hall Field into Brookfield Site 220 where trees have been felled but stumps remain for us to plot its course. There is one huge stump that has been taken out of the ground and left in the field and this needs to be measured as it looks to be of great size. See note further down.

We then enter Short Browns Ward Site 223, where there is still a lovely avenue of trees, before entering Thorney Wong Site 227, which takes us down to the Bridle Road by the side of Rothley Park Golf Course. Over the Bridle Road into the present day drive to Southfield Farm for a short length before entering Bridge Close Site 210. The present day drive to Southfield Farm was opened up about three years ago to give Tony Cooper access to his farmhouse without having to cut across the Golf Course. A lovely Ancient Stone Bridge which has Listed Status, takes us over Rothley Brook and into Rothley Park Cricket Ground Field Site 120, before entering the current grounds of The Temple (Rothley Court Hotel) Site 115.

Photographs have been taken up to the Stone Bridge but a sunny day awaited to take more up to The Temple.

11th January 2006

I returned Site 220 Brookfield to record the Ancient Tree Stump 514. It has a girth of 6.55 metres, making it a very large, ancient tree. I do not know what caused its demise or why the root and stump were dug out and left near to what looks to be its original site.

21st January 2006

Brian and I went to the Cricket Ground Field Site 120 to map out the route of the carriageway from the Stone Bridge over Rothley Brook as far as The Temple boundary. We did this by using ranging poles to probe the ground to find the gravel base of the carriageway. This proved to be very successful and a photographic record was made using the poles to show the left hand boundary of the carriageway looking from the Stone Bridge to The Temple. It is easy to see the route in some parts using the contours of the ground and the ground vegetation.

The end of the carriageway from the field is where the current side boundary of the grounds of the Rothley Court Hotel meets their car park to give a final straight run to the front door.

Along the route in the Cricket Ground Field is an Oak Stump with a good surface, which we will return to and count the rings. Old maps show that Oaks were planted in 1727 and 1733, so it will be an interesting exercise.

The start of the Carriageway to the left on the old A6 (in 2013 a slip road from the by-pass). November 2005

The site of the Lodge at the start of the Carriageway on the old A6. November 2005

Site of the Lodge from inside South Hall Field looking to the old A6. November 2005

Ancient Ash stump at the site of The Lodge on the South Hall Field boundary with the old A6. November 2005

View from the site of the Lodge showing the Carriageway leading to The Temple. November 2005

Continuing from the Lodge through South Hall Field to The Temple. November 2005

Travelling through South Hall Field to The Temple. November 2005

Looking back to the Lodge through South Hall Field. November 2005

Looking back to the Lodge through South Hall Field. November 2005

Looking to the Lodge through South Hall Field from inside the boundary of Brookfield. November 2005

Travelling on the left through Brookfield to The Temple. November 2005

Carriageway to the left travelling through Brookfield to The Temple. November 2005

Many tree stumps in Brookfield on the way to The Temple. November 2005

Thomas Babington's view of Town Green as he travelled to The Temple through Brookfield. November 2005

Travelling to The Temple through Brookfield. November 2005

Travelling to The Temple through Brookfield. November 2005

Travelling to The Temple through Brookfield. November 2005

Many tree stumps line the route of the Carriageway through Brookfield to The Temple. November 2005

More stumps in Brookfield on the route of the Carriageway to The Temple. November 2005

More stumps in Brookfield on the route of the Carriageway to The Temple. November 2005

Travelling to The Temple through Brookfield on the Carriageway. November 2005

Looking back through Brookfield to South Hall Field and the Lodge on the old A6. November 2005

Travelling through Brookfield to The Temple. November 2005

Travelling through Brookfield to The Temple. November 2005

Travelling through Brookfield to The Temple. November 2005

Leaving Brookfield to drive through Short Browns Ward to The Temple. November 2005

Entering Short Browns Ward from Brookfield to The Temple. November 2005

Travelling through Short Browns Ward to The Temple. November 2005

Looking into Short Browns Ward to The Temple. January 2006

Looking back through Short Browns Ward to Brookfield. November 2005

Travelling through Short Browns Ward before entering Thorney Wong on the way to The Temple. November 2005

The Carriageway crosses a drain between Short Browns Ward and Thorney Wong. April 2006

The stone drain between Short Browns Ward and Thorney Wong. April 2006

Looking from the Bridle Road over Dye House Close to Short Browns Ward and the Carriageway through the trees. November 2005

Leaving Short Browns Ward the Carriageway enters Thorney Wong on its way to The Temple. November 2005

Travelling through Thorney Wong to The Temple. November 2005

Through Thorney Wong and approaching the Bridle Road on the way to The Temple. November 2005

Looking back through Thorney Wong to Short Browns Ward. November 2005

Looking back through Thorney Wong to Short Browns Ward on the left. November 2005

Looking back into Thorney Wong from the Bridle Road. November 2005

Travelling to The Temple towards Bridge Close. November 2005

The Carriageway runs along the boundary with Rothley Park Golf Course on it way to Bridge Close. October 2005

The Carriageway to The Temple approaching Bridge Close. October 2005

Towards the entrance to Bridge Close. November 2005

Ready to enter Bridge Close on the way to The Temple. November 2005

The Carriageway continues straight on into Bridge Close. The road turns left to Southfield Farm. November 2005

The Carriageway continues straight ahead through Bridge Close to The Temple. November 2005

Looking back over Bridge Close to the Bridle Road and Thorney Wong. November 2005

Looking back to Thorney Wong. November 2005

Looking back over Bridge Close to the Bridle Road, Thorney Wong and Short Browns Ward. November 2005

Looking over Bridge Close to the line of the Carriageway. November 2005

Looking over Bridge Close from the Bridle Road showing the line of the Carriageway as it runs towards The Temple. November 2005

The Carriageway in Bridge Close as it approaches the Stone Bridge. November 2005

The Stone Bridge takes the Carriageway between Bridge Close and Great Brick Close (Rothley Park)on its way to The Temple. November 2005

The Stone Bridge is a Listed Monument. November 2005

The Stone Bridge over Rothley Brook with Bridge Close to the right and Great Brick Close (Rothley Park) to the left. November 2005

Looking over the Stone Bridge from Bridge Close to The Temple. November 2005

The Carriageway over the Stone Bridge to The Temple. Looking very overgrown and neglected. November 2005

The Stone Bridge looking from Bridge Close into Great Brick Close (Rothley Park). November 2005

Looking from Great Brick Close over the Stone Bridge into Bridge Close. January 2006

TRACKING THE ROUTE OF THE CARRIAGEWAY THROUGH GREAT BRICK CLOSE (ROTHLEY PARK) WAS DONE BY PRODDING THE GROUND WITH RANGING POLES TO FIND THE STONEY BASE AND BY USING TREES AND STUMPS TO WIND OUR WAY THROUGH TO THE TEMPLE.
THE FOLLOWING PHOTOGRAPHS SHOW HOW WE TRACKED THE ROUTE IN JANUARY 2006

Journey's end. Thomas Babington reaches The Temple after a lovely drive along his private carriageway.

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