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Dead End Footpath

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InsaneGiraffe   Jun 21st 2016 18:40

Here's one that I'm sure Chand with find fascinating.

Has anyone seen the dead end footpath at Kingscote? As you can see in the map image, there is a path through the woods which splits, then later rejoins, then turns right and weaves round until it just stops at the edge of a field.

I've known about this for several years, but never got round to walking to the end of it. Whenever I have gone walking down that path, the obvious route just leads you on down until you join up with another right of way further down. I've always just accidentally ended up following it on down into the valley.

Last night I went exploring again, determined to find the mysterious end of this right of way.

There are new footpath signs along this footpath in the woods. Then, on that final sharp right turn before the last stretch of footpath, there is a new post, but no arrows on it at all. At this point you join a substantial track going left to right. This is the point where it seems natural to go left because of the angle you approach it at, but if you turn right and walk along it (the direction the right of way actually goes), you do indeed end up coming to an old gate by a field, and that's it.

So it's a real mystery why that bit of right of way exists. I thought rights of way evolved from through routes that people had to take to get to places? So what was the point of this path? The only thing I can think of is that there is a spring in the nearby field, and a small trickling of a stream going across the end of the track. Did people once upon a time go there to collect water?

It's possible that this path once formed a loop back up with the other section in the woods the other side of that field, and somewhere back in the mists of time it got abandoned when that field was created? But even back then you would have still have a pointless loop of a path through those woods that just goes round in a circle.

What do you think?

Last edited by InsaneGiraffe on 21/06/2016 at 18:42:30

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Chandrasekar   Jun 21st 2016 21:30

I think I might have solved it, partially at least.

Looking at the website, the 1:25000 OS map from 1937-61 shows Kingscote Park, and it looks like the footpath stops at the border of the Park, where there was presumably no public access at the time. Not sure what happened to Kingscote Park, but perhaps public access was never reapplied for, or something.

So I'm not sure exactly, but I'm sure Kingscote Park is part of the answer.

Nice little mystery!

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InsaneGiraffe   Jun 25th 2016 19:59

Here is the Wikipedia article about Kingscote Park:
[external link],_Gloucestershire

There is talk of it having had 'one of the finest racecourses in England' many years ago. Perhaps the footpath allowed people to a spot where they could view the races?

Interestingly, here is an image of a sign by a dead-end footpath in a completely different location (near Macclesfield):
[external link]

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