Around Historic Alford

A Alford walk posted on 23/07/19 by Lincolnshire Wolds. Update : 26/07/19

A circular walk around the streets in the centre of the historic town of Alford. The name derives from either the Old English “alder ford” or “ford by a heathen temple”. Here the Lincolnshire Wolds meets the Lindsey Marsh.

Centred around three market places, there is a wealth of 17th and 18th century buildings including a thatched Manor House, a working windmill and fine 14th century church.

Technical sheet
Calculated time Calculated time: 1h00[?]
Distance Distance : 2.13mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 13ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 13ft
Highest point Highest point : 36ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 20ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Alford
Starting point Starting point : N 53.261364° / E 0.177997°
Download :
Logos

Description

(D/A) Facing the house, turn left. Go along West Street past the 17th/18th century thatched cottages on your right and look at the eyelid dormer windows on the house behind. Opposite is the White Horse Hotel, a 17th century Posting House.

Along from the White Horse is Merton Lodge, a late 17th century house. Currently, this is the local doctor’s surgery. Cross Commercial Road and continue along West Street. On the opposite side of the road are the Sir Robert Christopher Alms-houses. Endowed by Sir Robert in 1668, the mud & stud buildings were replaced in 1868. Adjacent is a 17th century thatched cottage. A little further on the current guitar workshop of John LeVoi was originally a Girls National School and then a Roman Catholic Church.

At the corner of Dashwood Road cross West Street, to view the old Boys National School on the corner of Parsons Lane. Then turn back along West Street, to get a better view of the thatched terraced cottages and then a good view of the 17th century Manor House.

After the pedestrian crossing, turn right into North Market Place. Immediately on the left is the red granite monumental fountain erected to commemorate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria. A little further on your right, is the Windmill Hotel with a Blue plaque about Thomas Paine.

Ahead one can see the Corn Exchange. The plaque on the side refers to the granting of a charter to hold a market. Turn right into Windmill Lane and around the corner to a white building “Amber House”. Built-in 1844 it was the old Police Station and adjacent magistrate’s court.

Just before the Amber House cross the road and follow the tarmac footpath on the right-hand side of the Old Bowling Green estate, into the park. At the gazebo turn right to the new bandstand, with specially commissioned wrought ironwork incorporating Alford scenes.
Continue on the path to the park gates memorial obelisk commemorating the fallen in the two world wars.

(1) Turn left out of the park onto South Street. On the right-hand side is the distinctive Primitive Methodist chapel built in 1856, now an undertaker, with the Black Horse, built-in 1820, a little further on.

Entering South Market place, the Wold Grift Drain re-emerges on the Right Hand Side. Passing Barclay’s Bank, there is a narrow passage (The Hole in the Wall”).

There was a beerhouse in the Hole in the Wall perhaps where there is a Georgian bow-fronted window or a hole in the wall through which the beer was served. At the end of the passage, cross the road, using the light-controlled pedestrian crossing if necessary.

Turn right and follow the footpath in front of St Wilfrid’s Church. Opposite one can see two of the older buildings in Alford. The 18th century Hanby Hall which is rumoured to have an underground passage to the churchyard and the ivy covered 17th century Ivy House.

If you have time, go into the church. In the chancel is the 17th Century tomb of Sir Robert and Dame Elizabeth Christopher.

Continuing along East Street, just after the Anchor Inn, is No 3 East Street. Again 17th century, it originally faced the street, but fairly early on was reworked to face the Church (or the Inn).

Continue along East Street, past Ormsby Lodge. This was once the townhouse of the Massingberd family, who had an estate in South Ormsby. Further, on you pass a pair of interesting chequer-board brickwork cottages.

(2) Cross the road to see the Old Vicarage (now no. 31), close to the junction with Bilsby Road. Designed by James Fowler of Louth, it was built in 1852 and has an unusual diaper brickwork design. Continue back towards town.

Cross the road by the Co-op and continue past St Wilfrid’s. Go past Candlehouse Lane and then turn right down Chapel Street. On the right are the former premises of Hildred & Son - famous for Hildred’s Butterscotch sweets.

Continue along and take the first left and then straight on through the pedestrian cut into Park Lane. Turn left to see the old Magistrates Court (built 1897) with its fine brickwork and the old Police Station. Continue to the end of Park Lane; turn right to arrive back at the Manor House.

Why not follow the visitor route around the house and gardens finishing with a cup of tea in the tearoom?(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. mi 0 - Alford Manor House
1 : mi 0.86 - alt. mi 0.86 - South Street
2 : mi 1.52 - alt. mi 1.52 - The Old Vicarage
D/A : mi 2.13 - alt. mi 2.13 - Old Magistrates Court

Useful Information

Maps: OS Landranger 122 and OS Explorer 274

Parking: Long term car parks in both Millers Way off East Street (Grid ref: TF456 762 Postcode: LN13 9DY) and also in South Street (Grid ref: TF 455 759 Postcode LN13 9AJ). Please check for parking tariffs.

Terrain: A level route on pavements and tarmac paths. A good route for all.

Dogs: Should be kept on a lead at all times.

Refreshments: Cafes and pubs in Alford

Toilets: In the car park in South Street. Also in the Alford Corn Exchange, weekdays 09:00 – 13:00.

Stiles: No stiles

The Lincolnshire Wolds is a nationally important and cherished landscape. Most of it was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1973. Covering an area of 558 square kilometres or 216 square miles, the AONB contains the highest ground in eastern England between Yorkshire and Kent, rising to over 150m along its western edge. Rolling chalk hills and areas of sandstone and clay underlie this attractive landscape.

The Lincolnshire Wolds has been inhabited since prehistoric times and the appearance of the countryside today has been greatly influenced by past and present agricultural practices.

A Countryside Service helps to protect and enhance the landscape through partnership projects with local landowners, farmers, parish councils, businesses and residents of the Wolds.

Office Address :
Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service
Navigation Warehouse
Riverhead Road
Louth
Lincs LN11 0DA

Phone: 01522 555780 Twitter: @LincsWoldsAONB

Website: https://www.lincswolds.org.uk

Hikideas and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

The walk starts from the Alford Manor House in West Street. Built in 1611, it is reputedly the largest thatched Manor House in England; an H shaped building with quite unusual brick & timber construction. At the side of the garden is the Wold Grift Drain, which disappears under West Street and a number of properties before re-emerging in South Market Place.

The town has strong connections with the early days of the USA. Thomas Paine author of Rights of Man and Ann Hutchinson an early female preacher in Massachusetts both lived in Alford; John Smith of Jamestown Virginia (from Willoughby near Alford) was educated here.

At the edge of the town is the Windmill. Built by Sam Oxley in 1815, the Grade 1 listed five sailed mill still produces flour today. Call in and have a look around.

Other walks in the area

Ramble to Rigsby
distance 4.67mi Vertical gain +151ft Vertical drop -151ft duration 2h15 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Alford - Lincolnshire

This is an enjoyable 5 miles circular walk from Alford up into the Lincolnshire Wolds at Rigsby before returning to Alford. The route follows grass tracks and quiet lanes as well as across some arable land. There are excellent views of the Lincolnshire coast and Alford town from the ridge and Rigsby.

Rigsby church has Norman features and a fine 15th century carved font.

Well Walk
distance 8.41mi Vertical gain +394ft Vertical drop -367ft duration 4h10 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Alford - Lincolnshire

This is a charming 8 miles walk from Alford to Well. There are steady climbs through beech woods to Ulceby, before following the road down to Skendleby Psalter. From here back to Well with its rare classical church and Well Vale Hall and its lakes.

On a clear day there are views of the coast and Wolds from the higher ground.

A walk for all ages
distance 5.33mi Vertical gain +177ft Vertical drop -190ft duration 2h35 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in South Thoresby - Lincolnshire

This walk combines the history and wildlife of an ancient Wolds valley with the open space and stunning views of the Wolds and the coast, along with a visit to South Thoresby Warren Local Nature Reserve. You can also strike out into the Swaby valley or visit the small church of St. Leonard at Haugh.

In the Footsteps of Tennyson
distance 2.09mi Vertical gain +69ft Vertical drop -75ft duration 1h00 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Greetham with Somersby - Lincolnshire

Starting from the quiet hamlet of Bag Enderby, this 2 miles walk explores the different aspects of the Wolds landscape, passing through Somersby, Tennyson's birthplace and home for the first twenty eight years of his life.

In the Footsteps of Tennyson
distance 5.08mi Vertical gain +203ft Vertical drop -207ft duration 2h30 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Greetham with Somersby - Lincolnshire

Starting from the quiet hamlet of Bag Enderby, this 5.5 miles walk explores the different aspects of the Wolds landscape, passing through Somersby, Tennyson's birthplace and home for the first twenty eight years of his life.

In the Footsteps of Roman Legions
distance 7.45mi Vertical gain +282ft Vertical drop -295ft duration 3h40 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Fulletby - Lincolnshire

This walk links the villages of Fulletby, Tetford and Belchford and the hamlet of Salmonby. It is a walk with great variety - woods, fields, lakes and fine views.
The route takes in a section of the Viking Way long distance footpath and, for a while, follows the course of a Roman Road.

Two churches and a canal
distance 9.32mi Vertical gain +56ft Vertical drop -56ft duration 4h20 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Louth - Lincolnshire

Enjoy the peace and tranquillity of a 8.5 miles walk exploring the Louth Canal and nearby village of North Cockerington. Keep a watch for the darting blue of the kingfisher or the antics of the moorhens as they squabble amongst themselves.

Two churches and a canal
distance 6.2mi Vertical gain +49ft Vertical drop -49ft duration 2h55 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Louth - Lincolnshire

Enjoy the peace and tranquillity of a 6 miles walk exploring the Louth Canal and nearby village of Alvingham, with two churches in one churchyard. Keep a watch for the darting blue of the kingfisher or the antics of the moorhens as they squabble amongst themselves.

For more walks, use our search engine.

The GPS track and description are the property of the author.