Author Topic: Importance of a Lostway.  (Read 951 times)

barewirewalker

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Importance of a Lostway.
« on: 13:34:03, 13/03/19 »
With apologies in advance of talking about a taboo subject but this example strikes me a anachronistic and infinitely curious that no one is aware how we try to preserve the out of date notion of a 'Private Estate' of the 17th and 18th century to the detriment of a growing modern society getting exercise and access to their countryside.

Over my lifetime, my county town has become increasing wrapped around by byepasses, but the history is shown on our OS maps how pedestrian traffic had many routes into the central part of the original town and it's market places. It is not difficult to trace direct continuity back 10 miles or more into countryside and suppose that these pedestrian routes actually tried to avoid those routes, which have since become main roads.

Every time a new byepass has been built, the link to the countryside has been compromised. The final piece of wrapping around Shrewsbury has been heralded triumphantly with the publication of the 'North West Relief Road'. One walking route does appear to have been catered for with an underpass.

However a private estate will have a bridge built to access some land trapped within the town side of the new road. There is no indication that that public access will be allowed across this bridge, despite rights of way that lead close to it. The projected way from the termination of these rights of way at the parish boundary at mapped on prewar OS maps and would have provided a route clear across that estate to and another private estate beyond.

As the totality of the towns byepasses are completed the town will have a concrete/steel/macadam girdle wrapped around it, like a medieval maiden trussed up in a chastity belt, for fear of the common towns-person ingress into the sacred groves of privileged places. The downside, whilst the dweller within becomes more obese, the pedestrian traveler, an increasing tourist element, is limited by available routes to this town.

Few will be aware of the quality of way that these two estates deny the counties economy because few have walked them, so they cannot judge the history hidden by their private usage, let alone the beauty selfishly hoarded.

If we had more awareness of quality of way, how the features within our countryside add to attraction that encourage people to take exercise, perhaps an understanding of the damage to society by landowner self interest might be measured. Too often I have heard the argument that the footpath network is based on forgotten shortcuts and old ways to work and never intended for the leisure user, but since the mid 20th century leisure has become one of the fastest growing industries and is essential to the well being of our society.

What of 'Private Estates', why are they there? In the 17th and 18th Centuries they were the country retreats of the then leisure classes, which provided escape from summertime disease an infection among-st the growing populations of towns by classes denied any leisure. Question is are these areas of our countryside earning their keep? Perhaps excessive privacy should be a taxable commodity, because the ways across these two estate might be earning several £1000 per mile per annum and providing an inflow of hospitality dependant visitors to the town as well as providing amenity to those inhabitants to be trapped by the new road.
« Last Edit: 13:38:34, 13/03/19 by barewirewalker »
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pauldawes

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Re: Importance of a Lostway.
« Reply #1 on: 16:28:04, 14/03/19 »
I suppose we all have some tendency to think “this is my turf, no one else is sharing it”.


But I think it’s beyond obvious that overall quality of life in our country could be improved if access to countryside and pleasant urban walks could be improved.


I live quite close to Chatsworth House: an example of a very large estate where generations of Dukes (of Devonshire) have seen no problem in making vast amounts of the estate open to all.


That has...as far as I can see..not created any real problem for the overall management of the Estate. Far from it it generates good income, and creates enormous goodwill.

barewirewalker

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Re: Importance of a Lostway.
« Reply #2 on: 13:55:42, 15/03/19 »
I live quite close to Chatsworth House: an example of a very large estate where generations of Dukes (of Devonshire) have seen no problem in making vast amounts of the estate open to all.

That is an interesting observation PD, though I am not a reader of Country Walking magazine nor a fan of the the style of editorial, some years ago I did find something of interest in it's pages. I understand that the Duke of Devonshire made a public apology for the part his ancestors had played keeping people out of the countryside. The flaw in CW's editorial is an inability learn, they did not understand the importance of this. The article went on to blather about his position as a Duke and not with an understanding; the recognition by a land owner for the need to make that apology and and it's significance.

Had the editorial dealt with this issue, walkers in general might today might be asking, why the organization that lobbies for landowner interests, the CLA has not followed suite and admitted to the 'Corruption of the Definitive Map' and earlier efforts to keep people out of the countryside and made a like apology. The CLA was founded in 1912, so were in being during the inter-war period that so frustrated those campaigners and triggered the 1949 Act, immediately postwar.

That has...as far as I can see..not created any real problem for the overall management of the Estate. Far from it it generates good income, and creates enormous goodwill.

It is this example and it's likes that should be better understood by the professional and residential occupiers of our countryside, visitors play a big part in the rural economy, yet the CLA persistently downplay the leisure use of the access network.

I suppose we all have some tendency to think “this is my turf, no one else is sharing it”.

I am aware that I have drawn criticism on this forum from some, but I am sure that there are many, who have not understood how your above observation has been used and used again by the CLA to further increase their membership. The irony is; instead of restricting and trimming the access network the CLA should be exhorting it's members to improve and extend it to the benefit of the rural economy.

Yesterday I was at the funeral of an old friend, at the wake in conversation with an accountant, we were talking of the changes of farm incomes and the need to diversify within the rural economy. To be unable to see the economic opportunities that infrastructure like the bridge, in discussion, can offer is folly, but the entrenched attitudes of an old class of people and a mistaken respect for their interests has clouded an important issue.

But I think it’s beyond obvious that overall quality of life in our country could be improved if access to countryside and pleasant urban walks could be improved.

It was some years ago, when I realised that lostways were really missing pieces in the jigsaw of access, that I understood that there is another important element and that is 'missing infrastructure'. So when the road is completed, not only will there be a lostway, but also lost infrastrucure, because to carry the original way, as shown by the RoW on the townside, the road would need a footbridge to join the path to it's original destination, but no footbridge in the plan.

« Last Edit: 23:06:48, 15/03/19 by barewirewalker »
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barewirewalker

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Re: Importance of a Lostway.
« Reply #3 on: 10:41:19, 18/03/19 »

Few will be aware of the quality of way that these two estates deny the counties economy because few have walked them, so they cannot judge the history hidden by their private usage, let alone the beauty selfishly hoarded.

If we had more awareness of quality of way, how the features within our countryside add to attraction that encourage people to take exercise, perhaps an understanding of the damage to society by landowner self interest might be measured..............................................
A landowner's service bridge is planned for a new road and the opportunity to provide public access is not included because the land beyond is private, end of subject. Is this a telling indictment on the state of our modern day understanding of sharing our countryside as an economic and social resource?

Because of the CLA's embedded antipathy to access, the values of leisure access are neither seen nor understood as forceful enough to allow public access over valuable new infrastructure. As with another byepass in the county, at Nescliffe, simply tweaking the rights of way could have saved the necessity of a pedestrian Right of Way crossing a dual carriageway, thus placing a magnificent footbridge in a dominant position in the counties leisure network. As it stands, it is often left off the routes walkers plan to cross Shropshire.

I can think of several titles for routes that might be using this bridge, if the lostway beyond had been included on the Definitive Map of Shropshire;
1).The Severn Way. (A more accurate route following the River Severn as the longest riverside walk)
2). Hotspur's Retreat. (A local circular based on a legend from the Battle of Shrewsbury)
3). Young Darwin's Explorations. (A local circular following in his footsteps as an adventurous youth)
4). The Shropshire Sandstone Trail. (An apt geological finish to a natural continuation of the Cheshire route)
5). St Chad's Way. (A short linear joining 2 churches of that name without crossing the river)
6). Montford circular. (A longer circular using the now quieter Montford Bridge on Thomas Telford's old A5)

Then one of my cross Wales linking to the Nescliffe Footbridge and using the CAD Argoed lostways for route through the Llynclys Gap and Berwyns to the coast at Harlech.

What missed opportunites, is it because the CLA employ a lawyer to advise on access matters? The predecessor suggested that landowners should; 'give away more than they could get', in order to balance the equation of access, not the landowner solicitor, who solicits to limit access.

So are the current occupiers of Berwick Estate brain washed by their national lobby group and their own history into believing that allowing rights of way across their estate will devalue their property.
There are probably papers in that Hall that prove that a right of way once existed across the property from the Gravel Hill Farm to Leaton Knowles, the recollections of a lady, who celebrated her 100th birthday last November suggest very strongly that this is the case.
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barewirewalker

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Re: Importance of a Lostway.
« Reply #4 on: 08:13:11, 19/03/19 »
There are probably papers in that Hall that prove that a right of way once existed across the property from the Gravel Hill Farm to Leaton Knowles, the recollections of a lady, who celebrated her 100th birthday last November suggest very strongly that this is the case.
Family life was very different on a tenant farm for a daughter growing up just after the first world war. Housework had to be done before the long walk to school was even thought of and that school was on the other side of the estate. As the youngest sibling of 6 children, the memories of walks to school were interpersed with the sight of others, who used this way across the estate in both directions because it passed in front of the kitchen window. Where the youngest member of the family would spend many hours at the kitchen sink washing the families mealtime dishes. To a young girl it was fascinating to see the staff from the big house on the far side of the Berwick Estate passing by on a path just beyond the hedge. They came down the track from beyond the stackyard, her father called Church Lane, this did infact lead to the private church on the Estate but the way went further beyond that because this girl was told by her father that, Mr Philips, the landlord insisted that he keep the way, which past over his tenancy, well maintained because it was a right of way.

As she grew older she and her brother would lead the farm's horses across the estate to the blacksmith, wait for them to be shoed and return. She knew the General, who was the landowner, he lived in the big house at Leaton Knowles, and she knew his son, an adult in her eyes but always friendly, because he would keep a protective eye over her, when she was out hunting.

As she and her brother grew older, they ranged further afield on their ponies, the front and back drive of the Leaton Knowles estate gave them a perfect off road route through to Fitz. This was a secret adventure and they tried not to be seen by the General, but was this more because they did not want the parents to know how how far they ranged when they were off the farm. Did the blacksmith and others tell them that no way was allowed through the Leaton Knowles estate or was it accepted that these drives were used as pedestrian shortcuts as an approach to the Berwick estate, which in turn had a right of way across it.

Why was Squire Philips so insistent that his tenant recognise a right of way, was it because he had claimed land tax exemption in 1911? Would this information be found in records in Kew? 
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GinAndPlatonic

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Re: Importance of a Lostway.
« Reply #5 on: 08:20:46, 19/03/19 »
Family life was very different on a tenant farm for a daughter growing up just after the first world war. Housework had to be done before the long walk to school was even thought of and that school was on the other side of the estate. As the youngest sibling of 6 children, the memories of walks to school were interpersed with the sight of others, who used this way across the estate in both directions because it passed in front of the kitchen window. Where the youngest member of the family would spend many hours at the kitchen sink washing the families mealtime dishes. To a young girl it was fascinating to see the staff from the big house on the far side of the Berwick Estate passing by on a path just beyond the hedge. They came down the track from beyond the stackyard, her father called Church Lane, this did infact lead to the private church on the Estate but the way went further beyond that because this girl was told by her father that, Mr Philips, the landlord insisted that he keep the way, which past over his tenancy, well maintained because it was a right of way.

As she grew older she and her brother would lead the farm's horses across the estate to the blacksmith, wait for them to be shoed and return. She knew the General, who was the landowner, he lived in the big house at Leaton Knowles, and she knew his son, an adult in her eyes but always friendly, because he would keep a protective eye over her, when she was out hunting.

As she and her brother grew older, they ranged further afield on their ponies, the front and back drive of the Leaton Knowles estate gave them a perfect off road route through to Fitz. This was a secret adventure and they tried not to be seen by the General, but was this more because they did not want the parents to know how how far they ranged when they were off the farm. Did the blacksmith and others tell them that no way was allowed through the Leaton Knowles estate or was it accepted that these drives were used as pedestrian shortcuts as an approach to the Berwick estate, which in turn had a right of way across it.

Why was Squire Philips so insistent that his tenant recognise a right of way, was it because he had claimed land tax exemption in 1911? Would this information be found in records in Kew?
Seriously you should write a novel, based around those times.  I found this last post intriguing. My daughter also loves reading of times gone by .

Doddy

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Re: Importance of a Lostway.
« Reply #6 on: 17:31:57, 19/03/19 »
I mourn the loss of routes as much as anyone but these new highways will have been the subject of consultation. The issue there is that not everyone is an avid reader of the public notices in the local newspaper announcing these matters or the routes in Local Plans. However  in my experience the Ramblers Assoc always comment but a lot of the time are overruled as when alternatives are discussed they inevitably cost  more money big time e.g £15million per motorway mile. Costs vary wildly on the number of bridges, access road etc required. It will be mostly a Highways England proposal not the local Council, though routes are prioritised and put forward as in need of improvement by locals and businesses. Public Rights of Way will be varied around the route; but clearly lose there significance. They are rarely extinguished totally.

barewirewalker

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Re: Importance of a Lostway.
« Reply #7 on: 09:34:02, 20/03/19 »
Seriously you should write a novel, based around those times.  I found this last post intriguing. My daughter also loves reading of times gone by .
A nice thought but it would take up too much valuable time left to me to poke holes in our sadly questionable access network. I am of an age where I can remember the attitudes of those immediate post war years, when the older generation were carrying the burden of respect for the privilege of birth. Having been left with the civil detritus that is hampering the growth of an important social and economic asset, provides me with enough mental exercise to keep my aging grey matter churning over, together with placing one foot in front of the other with some purpose.

Though the limbs are getting a bit too inflexible for crawling through gaps and climbing over fences, where the usual walk furniture might be, I believe I am discovering an alternative to the Scottish Land Reform Act, the barrier to this incredible discovery is Landowners would have to recognise that they are institutional sociopaths.
I mourn the loss of routes as much as anyone but these new highways will have been the subject of consultation.
 They are rarely extinguished totally.
I also have much sympathy with your views, but I think your may have missed the main point of this example. The way over the proposed bridge never existed as a right of way because it is a lostway. By 2026 the recovery of lostways will be legally eroded if not terminated. The irony of this situation is the town authorities have not woken up to the enormous potential revenue stream that could be created by this way and the owners of the estate are so conditioned by there own notion of the social self importance that they cannot see the added economic asset a right of way through their estate could add to the property value.

I have some further titbits of local gossip to stir into the cauldron, I hope to keep the interest going, because I think there are lessons to be learnt from this exercise, and I thank you for your input. Sadly with the loss of my photobucket account I am without the means of adding graphics, so I understand how some of the misunderstandings might occur.
« Last Edit: 09:37:03, 20/03/19 by barewirewalker »
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Doddy

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Re: Importance of a Lostway.
« Reply #8 on: 12:50:35, 20/03/19 »

I certainly don't want to cross swords on this issue and get mired in Public Rights Of Way legalise.
The definition I see of ‘Lost Ways’  are routes with public rights of way over them which were in existence before 1949, but are not currently recorded on definitive maps.` Therefore I am unclear why BWW your saying the bridge route was never a PROW but is a Lost Way. A lost route maybe.
Other paths are shown on OS sheets but the true record is the Definitive Map. Certainly many walking routes were not recorded when the Definitive Maps were produced.
There were a few ways that routes were not recorded; plain old tardiness on the Parish Council behalf, and way back in 1949 when the Parish Council was often made up of local worthies /landowners I could imagine lots of local discussion with landowners who would not be that keen to record paths across their land; and these never got recorded as no decision was agreed or made in time. Some of these routes are the subject of discussion today; which I guess is where we came in.
I think the 1926 date is an attempt to close the book on many a path discussion which take up a time and money with Inquiries etc, and it will then be close to 80 years since the recording of paths was started.

barewirewalker

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Re: Importance of a Lostway.
« Reply #9 on: 13:50:07, 21/03/19 »
I certainly don't want to cross swords on this issue and get mired in Public Rights Of Way legalise.
The definition I see of ‘Lost Ways’  are routes with public rights of way over them which were in existence before 1949, but are not currently recorded on definitive maps.` Therefore I am unclear why BWW your saying the bridge route was never a PROW but is a Lost Way. A lost route maybe.
Neither do I.
The way I see it the official recognition of a lostway would be an old route that has sufficient legal evidence to be reinstated by a ruling of a court of enquiry.
That would be a legal definition or as close as a lay person such as myself might be able to understand. But the more I look at maps and routes on the ground I see more lost ways.
Is this a social issue and has modern society moved forward from the immediate post war era?

Within the conundrum of  this bridge being private or a right of way; are there understandings that could be revealed by discussion on how both sides can benefit from access and is the denial of it damaging to the fabric of society?

Certainly Doddy's post has given me more to think about. Can I express my ideas in terms more readily understood by others? There are more historical anecdotes I can add to the discussion should it develop.

Would others be interested in the speculation of those routes that could evolve from this bridge being a recognised infrastructure in the access network?
There is a right of way, which ends at a Civil Parish Boundary and this within the area of the road development. The lostway is the continuing part of the old route. The is another right of way that goes to the site of ruin laundry cottages, at laundry terrace, this leads to the approximate area of the bridge. So the current layout of rights of way on the town's side are there, was the lostway even considered in the planning of the road and should it have been?
BWW
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