One in a series of circular walks issued by Parishes in Barnack Ward
Start and finish: Ufford, White Hart,
tel 01780 740250. Refreshments.
Position: about 5½ miles from Stamford and 10 miles from Peterborough.
Parking: roadside in Ufford or at Moors Corner, off road at Bainton.
Bus service: hourly from Peterborough and Stamford to Barnack and Bainton.
Distance: 4¾ miles.
Time: about 2½ hours.
OS Map: 234 Explorer, 1:25,000.
1 Turn left up the hill on leaving the White Hart.Pause to look at the map on the Millennium Stone, which shows some of the village landmarks. Cross the road and look back at the old village well by the roadside. Follow the footpath through the churchyard. The church, at 44.16 metres (144.9 feet) above sea level, occupies one of the highest points in the district. It was the site of a beacon to warn of invasion at the time of the Spanish Armada.
2 Having crossed the stile at the far side of the churchyard, the path across the field should be visible. If not, continue in the same direction to the stile on to Walcot Road. Turn right for a short
distance and then left down a gravelled drive. Cross the stile on the left and then follow the clearly marked footpath, keeping to the left of the hedge and then the wood, Ufford Oaks.
3 Turn right along the former railway track. At the ditch the footpath makes a left turn, then goes
through the hedge and turns right to the marker post. Follow the public footpath to the left behind
the cricket field, and then right and cross the stone stile. Turn right and walk up Walcot Road, over Saxon Road, and take the right fork and continue along Millstone Lane.
4 Turn right and follow the winding road through the old village. Turn right at the junction with the
5 At the public footpath sign, cross the road and follow the route of the Torpel Way to the left
along the hedge to the next sign. Turn right up the track as far as the post. Cross the little bridge into The Synhams, a small wood, to the yellow post at the corner of the field. Continue in the same direction, keeping to the right of the hedge, as far as the sign post.
6 To visit Bainton, turn left, keeping to the left of the wooded area and then turn right down a grassy track as far as the sign to Bainton. Cross the footbridge and follow the narrow path between the houses and on to the B1443. Turn right into the village. The monument near the junction is the base of an ancient cross, which stood on 4 high steps. The stocks and whipping post used to stand nearby.
7 Turn right and right again on the Ufford road. To explore the wetland part of the Conservation
Area, follow the first footpath on the right. Keep to the right of the moat and after the gate, turn
left along a grassy track, then left over a low bank. Retrace your steps on to the footpath and
then head back to the post at the end of 5.Follow the path towards Ufford. At the next post, ignore the Torpel Way which continues to the left. The Ufford path, which is usually visible, crosses a field and then keeps to the right of a hedge to the road at Moors Corner. Follow the
road into Ufford.
The central part was a medieval hall house, the 2 side wings were added later. The unmatched
windows are Victorian, but may have given rise to the belief that it was a resting place for pilgrims on their way to the shrine at Walsingham.
Old railway track
Work began on the railway line between Wansford and Stamford in 1867. There was a station at Barnack and the remains of a platform at Ufford Bridge. The line was never profitable and it closed to passengers in 1929 and to goods in 1931.
Special features in Barnack
Pause to look at the remains of the medieval stone quarries (Hills and Holes), the stone cottages and former shops, services and public houses, the church and railway station. The author, Charles Kingsley, lived at the old rectory as a child and the artist, Wilfrid Wood, lived at the thatched cottage on Station Road, 1938-76.
Conservation Schemes in Bainton
Wetland habitats are of particular interest and the areas of woodland and scrub also provide varied wildlife habitats.
Downhall Manor was the home of the Quarles family for 6 generations in the 16th and 17th
centuries. Nothing remains except earth banks and ditches, which may be evidence of a moat.
The stone was probably removed and reused in the village. The marble monument in the church
of one of Queen Elizabeth I‘s gentlewomen was erected by a member of the Quarles family.
The stone farmhouse and barn date from the 18th century. Ufford was traditionally a farming village. In the 19th century there were 6 or 7 farms on Main Street, now this is the only working farm in the village.
The first part was built for Charles Manners and dates from the 1740s. It was extended in 1761
by his brother, James. It was bought by a sugar merchant from Bristol in 1792 and then acquired
by the Trollope family, along with most of Ufford, in 1809. They owned it for a nearly a hundred
years but it was rented out to a succession of tenants. In 1902 it was bought by Mr and Mrs Whitmore, who were actively involved in village life. The Airedale family owned it from 1947 until the death of Lord Airedale. The present owner reroofed it but has still not lived in it. John Clare‘s connection with Ufford Hall He used to hoe turnips with John Cew of Ufford, who had been gardener at Ufford Hall and told John Clare the identity of his paternal grandfather! In his youth, one of his friends had been an itinerant Scottish schoolmaster called John Donald Parker. One of his pupils was Alice Clare, daughter of Helpston‘s parish clerk. He disappeared before John‘s father was born. His mother named the baby Parker Clare.
Dating from the 17th century, it is one of the oldest houses in the village. The dovecot survives, along with 3 others in Ufford. They were all square or oblong with Collyweston slate roofs. Only the lord of the manor and the parson had the right to keep pigeons, which provided fresh meat in winter.