Thursday, 1 January 2009

Ufton Nervet and Sulhamstead

St Peter's, Ufton Nervet

The walk begins close to St Peter's Church in Ufton Nervet (1861-2 in early 14th century gothic style - the spire is visible from various points on the walk).

A track leads south east across fields and past a medieval moat and fish ponds to quickly reach the main entrance to Ufton Court (more below). You walk up the impressive drive and skirt the house to the right, following a green lane down a gully and back up to a farm.

From here, a route across fields, heading first north and then north east takes you to the edge of Sulhamstead. A climb up a road and then a detour lead to St Michael's burial ground with the porch which is all that remains of the 1914 church. We passed this way on an earlier walk via Sulhamstead and took a nice summery photo of the porch.

A few further fields and you are back at Ufton Nervet after 4 1/2 miles of very pleasant quiet, open country. We saw just one other person on the way.

From: Rambling for Pleasure: Around Reading, first series by David Bounds for the East Berkshire Ramblers’ Association Group.

Map: Explorer 159 (Reading, Wokingham & Pangbourne).

Rating: three and a half stars.


Lots of hairy horses. These ones were incredibly still and seemed quite unaffected by our passage through their field. Were they asleep?

Ufton Court

This many-gabled timber-framed house dates from 1570-1580 according to Pevsner and is now an Educational Trust for children and young people. The building is rented by West Berkshire Council from the Englefield Estate. The Trust's website gives a history.

An earlier house called Ufton Pole was rebuilt by Lady Marvyn when she moved from nearby Ufton Robert. The house passed on her death to her nephew Francis Perkins and it remained in the Perkins family until 1769. The Perkins were notable catholics and the house had three ingenious priest holes to conceal priests from persecution by local magistrates in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.

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