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Above Basingstoke


Above Basingstoke is Five Lanes End, at SU 696502, from now on referred to as FLE.


We were alerted to the area by Sue, who mentioned Scots Pines around a pond  or water source in her email; so, taking the bus from Hook, we walked the first of the lanes leading up to FLE…and we had to admit, it was a bit featureless.  I suppose I mean, What a disappointment.  Perhaps it was our mood & our fault…it was a hot day, after all.


FLE itself (#1) was certainly a feature, but most of the rest was certainly pleasant but lacked a certain amount of ... interest.  Definitely drovers’ roads, either up to Reading/London or down to Portsmouth, but they had left nothing behind them to show they’d been there (#2,3).  Except for #4, where the yew was often used as a way-marker on chalk.  


Then we walked to Upton Grey – a beautiful (and lucky) village with a community-run shop – and came across this, on our right, at 694485.  These were not the pines Sue referred to, and the nettles are the icing on the cake:  Nettles grow in good soil, and cattle dung creates the good soil...(#5)


Patrick Symington of Upton Grey has sent us a document produced in great detail by Hants County Council.  It quotes Timperley & Brill's fascinating book "Ancient Trackways of Wessex" to suggest that the (now non-existent) path running between Weston Corbett & Herriard to FLE was an extension of the Lunway (London Way) mentioned in the Leckford Hut article.  There have been attempts to resuscitate this ancient route between Elderfield House & Hay Down recently, with what success we do not know.  To quote the document: Timperley and Brill's volume The Ancient trackways of Wessex (1970) points out that the route appears to be `an extension of the Lunway from Bagmore Lane "going along Priors Hill" to the important and ancient trackway junction at Five Lanes End, where it meets the Harrow Way summer route


Does anyone know anything more? 

Above Basingstoke image 1
FLE
Above Basingstoke image 2
Ordinary..
Above Basingstoke image 3
...Stuff
Above Basingstoke image 4
..and Not-so-ordinary..
Above Basingstoke image 5
...Stuff!