Short Walk Appleton Circular 3.5 miles on 12 June 2018

Appleton is a village in the civil parish of Appleton-with-Eaton, about 4 miles northwest of Abingdon. Appleton was part of Berkshire until the 1974 boundary changes transferred it to Oxfordshire.  Appleton village centre has an old-world charm feel about it, with many stone cottages and thatched roof properties. 

On Badswell Lane, where the walk started from, is an ancient well known as Badger’s Well whose water, so legend has it, is a cure for all eye complaints.  The lane soon turned into a bridleway, here we stood quietly while 2 riders on horseback passed us.  The track eventually turned into a metalled road, which made walking easier.  There were entries into the wood, which also went down to the River Thames.  We did not take this option but continued up a gradual incline to the road.  After crossing the road we walked alongside a house to a stile, then across another short field and over another stile.

We continued, on very uneven ground alongside a wood, and then onto a well-kept path to another road.  After crossing the road, it was down a wide driveway to skirt past a very nice house leading into a field.  Cows had been in the field but we did not catch site of them today.  Over 2 more stiles and into the churchyard of St Laurence Church.  Some visited the church before going to the shop which sold hot drinks and  yummy cakes and flans and pies.   Thank you to the 21 members for coming on the walk and a special thank you, to the car drivers.  During the walk we saw a squirrel, rabbits, deer, red kites and many birds.

History of Bells at Appleton Tower

Before 1817 there were only 3 bells in Appleton tower; Squire Robert Southby of Appleton Manor paid for replacing the 3 with a ring of 6 in 1818, A new band of Appleton ringers was trained and by 1821 they were able to ring their 1st touch of 720 changes of New Treble Bob on the new bells. Their achievement is recorded on a tablet in the tower. Sadly, Richard King died young according to the Parish Burial registers; Alfred raised money to fund 2 further bells in 1854 and founded the firm of bell hangers now known as ‘Whites of Appleton’.  In 1861 the Rev. F.E.Robinson, curate to the Rev Butler in Appleton, gave 2 more bells to make a ring of 10; Alfred White added the ‘lantern’ to the top of the tower to make room for the extra two bells. Henry and Frederick White, other bell ringing family members who worked in the family business, are commemorated on the other side of Alfred’s memorial.  Pam

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