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Welcome to

I am Bruce Smith from Ferryside in South-West Wales.  I have been 'collecting' drove roads since 2005.

There is plenty of excellent literature about droving in general, but little about shorter stretches: routes to the local market, saltways, routes that peter out into nowhere, routes taken to avoid tollgates.

My aim in retirement has been to explore these stretches, and this website is an archive of my explorations.

Anyone interested can contribute to the setting up of this archive: just email me and say - as a handful of people have already done - Why haven't you covered the so-and-so area?...we have a splendid green lane that you've got to see...etc.  That always fires my enthusiasm, and the subsequent trip has never been disappointing.  So, Please Contact.

Finally, any material on this site is free to be used by anyone, but I would appreciate acknowledgement.

* * * * * * * * *

The main purpose of country roads used to be for moving beasts, so most of the roads we drive along were made by or for drovers. Or, as Francis Pryor put it, "The Road System of our country largely came about as a result of farmers shifting stock around..."  Roads never tarmacked have become byways or bridleways.  Many have vanished altogether or been built upon, but there is still a vast network of green lanes criss-crossing the British countryside.  

To come across an old road untouched by the 20th century is for me an utter joy: 200 years seem to slide off my shoulders.

I just wish I didn't feel that the closer and deeper I get involved in the subject, the less I seem to know.

Images on this page:

These are pictures of Brackley Lane, which appears at Abthorpe (SP 649 464) and runs south, then south west, along the edge of Bucknell Wood before disappearing again. Presumably used by farmers to take their stock from Brackley to Towcester market. (There seems to have been plenty of stock movement around Abthorpe because of "Ox Bridge" just north of the village.) It is the perfect place to walk the dog, hear a cuckoo or just be at peace with the world.

The last picture, the Cambrian Mountain logo, is the result of an initiative begun in 2017 to promote the wildest and most beautiful parts of Central Wales.  If you want to get the best out of an unmissable adventure, contact:  You may be lucky and get hold of Dafydd Wyn Morgan, who will give you all the info you want and certainly make you laugh in the bargain.  Meanwhile the articles in this website (under the South/Mid-Wales tab) on Tregaron, Beulah & Trecastle might whet your appetite...


Start of Brackley Lane, Abthorpe
Start of Brackley Lane, Abthorpe
Home image 2
Brackley Lane #2
Home image 3
Bucknell Wood on the Left
Home image 4
Brackley Lane #4
Home image 5
MCM Tourism Logo