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Long Lane to Craven A.


The plan was to walk up Long Lane from Craven Arms towards Bishops Castle to meet Stank Lane, (see article on the Kerry Ridgeway under the Wales tab).  But it didn’t happen because time ran out.  Pity.  It was a smashing day.

 

#1 shows our route to CA from where we had to turn back.  The blue blob near Watling St is the site of the New Inn, only mentioned on the Colby OS map.  "New" in my book, when next to "Inn", invariably means "Inn on the new turnpike now open for business".  So this narrow lane (#2) was turnpiked, was it?  Yes, in the 1830's, according to the Turnpike Website.  But who for?  Wasn't it too narrow for coaches?


No, according to the helpful team at SWSHAS (South-West Salop Hist. & Archeology Soc.).  It was the coach road to & from Welshpool, so there must have been plenty of swearing & shouting when two coaches met going in opposite directions...

 


We found two milestones, but only one was even partly legible: [LOND]ON [1511 MILES]  [BISH]OPS CASTLE 8  LUDLOW [9?] (#3).  “London” implied coaches too.  Farmers would know the distance and drovers wouldn't want to know.


Oddly, though the New Inn dated from the 1830's, there was no sign of it in 1890.  Not even a ruin to mark the spot.  Perhaps the investors lost their money & burnt it down...

 

The green lane beyond the A49 at Newington2, just north of CA, provided a bit of excitement (#4).  The footbridge to Halford is new, however, and there’s a pretty park all around it so I ‘forgot’ to take a photo.  But I couldn’t resist #5.

 

After Halford, Ludlow of course; then Worcester & London.  But we would like to know more of the turnpike story.  It's such an unlikely route for coaches.

 

1 We checked the illegible mileage on the National Library of Scotland’s maps – Google nls & you’ll find them; they’re free to use.  We find the 1890’s 6” gives the most information, including the milestones with their main destinations and mileages.  Ludlow isn’t included on the map, so I calculated.
2 Craven Arms was just an inn then.  After the railway it became an inn and a station.

Long Lane to Craven A. image 1
Map of Long Lane route
Long Lane to Craven A. image 2
Long Lane near CA
Long Lane to Craven A. image 3
Can You Read It?
Long Lane to Craven A. image 4
Beyond the A49
Long Lane to Craven A. image 5
Relic of Gentler Days