A morning walk from Moyles Court
Thursday, April 8th, 2010
A morning walk from the parking place opposite Moyles Court school enjoying the spring.
Moyles Court was the home of Lady Alice Lisle who lived there in the 1600s. She was convicted by Judge Jeffries at the Bloody Assizes of harbouring fugitives from the Battle of Sedgemoor after the Monmouth Rebellion and executed, a judgement that was subsequently reversed after her death and by some became known as judicial murder – not that it did her much good! You can read more about this fascinating woman here. The Duke of Monmouth himself was captured locally and held at one of the houses in West Street in Ringwood until he was taken to London and also executed.
Setting out from the parking place I have to cross Dockens Water on the footbridge beside the ford. The edges of the stream are well trodden here because
the water runs along the bottom of grazing fields here.
I’m not taking this path, but it’s a pretty little walk that follows Dockens Water for a little way under the beech trees.
This fine old oak tree beside the ford at Moyles Court is known as the Moyles Court Oak. You can see from the size of the trunk that it’s old, but it’s reckoned to be about 400 years old. That means it was already an established tree when Dame Alice Lisle was arrested at her house across the road.
Across the road now and walking up towards the disc barrow above the sand pit by the Moyles Court NT car park. The sun shines on the the frosty grass.
The ground around the edge of the sand pit undulates, I think because of old excavations.
An unusual side to the hill, I usually walk up from the NT car park. This is just as steep! Note – there are less steep ways of getting up into the old gravel pit and lovely walking! I’ve heard this hill called Three Tree Hill, apparently there used to be three Scots Pines at the top on the disc barrow. When I moved here 25 years ago, there was one left and one of the trunks up there with it. The trunk was moved by
eager young lads overnight one day and burned in the sand pit. Pity, it used to make a nice bench. The trunk you see lying half way up the hill here is the remains of the last of the pines that came down a few years ago now. So I
guess it’s No Tree Hill now!
At the top of the hill on the disc barrow is the last bit of the stump of that lovely tree in the middle of the photo.
On the far side of the gravel pit is a lovely stand of very upright birch trees.
In amongst them is this lovely tree with four trunks.
On the other side of the edge of the gravel pit is this lovely little valley which goes by the name of Big Whitemoor Bottom.
A little way along Whitemoor the trunk of a birch tree provides a foreground for the view to the head of the valley.
Whitemoor provides a place for a lot of water run off from Rockford Common. The stream is small now, but where it tumbles over the peaty ground, these deep channels are created as it tumbles down the grassy slope. Harry’s favourite places for a nice brown bath.
Ponies rest in the old bracken in the morning sun. Here a bay pony…
…and there a grey pony.
I cut down the side of the hill and walk back along the path I mentioned earlier through the pretty beech wood along the banks of Dockens Water.
People have left their mark on quite a few of the trees here, but I like this old fashioned and rather nicely carved mark of love catches my eye. I wonder if they’re still in love!”
Four old beech trees in a line.
Another old beech, split by some force of nature but still growing.
Walk over now it’s time to see to Wishful who is grazing peacefully on the frosty grass.
One of the ash trees on the edge of the field is finally coming into bud.
As I drive home I spot a Galloway cow with two new calves. Dinky cows!
At the end of the day we’re treated to a lovely coloured sunset.
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