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Longhope to Birdwood

 

If you look at the impossibly complicated OL14 Explorer map – why the OS cannot think in straight lines, give some overlap around the edges & be one-sided, I don’t know – you will find Little London at SO 705184, east of Longhope.  The A40 loops north to take in Huntley; the original road goes straight on, now as a bridleway, before rejoining the A40 outside Birdwood.  And, underneath the bridleway, it’s Roman.  Long after them came the Welsh, bringing their beasts to Gloucester Market.

 

It’s not wise to attempt the bridleway walk when it’s wet: the stiles are slippery (#1) and the Gloucester cattle, whose milk provides us with Single & Double Gloucester cheese, churn the fields into a 1914 sort of quagmire (#2,3).  But you get a smashing view across the Severn to the Cotswold Ridge (#1) and  once you are into the woodland east of the small road at 740184, life gets easier and much more interesting (#4,5).   For a few hundred yards scattered Roman cobbles appear, as we were told by Sue & Alex of Birdwood Farm.  (The outline of the continuing Roman road can still be seen at the back of the farmhouse, which probably faced it in days gone by.)

 

The farm is mentioned in the VCH in 1724, it was thatched until 1980 and the footings certainly look old.   Only the western half of the building existed in early days.  An old inn?

 

Thanks to Alex & Sue for making rather a forgettable walk memorable.  If you’re a fan of the Mythical, the Mystical or anything to do with The Forest of Dean, google their site: White Wizard Purple Elf…

Longhope to Birdwood image 1
The Start..
Longhope to Birdwood image 2
The Gloucesters..
Longhope to Birdwood image 4
Roman..
Longhope to Birdwood image 5
..Cobbles Somewhere