Sunday 4 October 2015. There were 12 of us on today’s 7.8 mile walk with just 400ft of ascent starting from Felbrigg Hall. It was good to welcome Jo who has just joined the Fenland Ramblers and Lynn from the Kings Lynn group.
As it was a later start than normal (10:30), we stopped soon after at Aylmerton church for an early coffee break. Our route then took us around fields and along Mill Lane to the site of a restored stone cross. None of us knew the history of the cross but thanks to an internet search by Helen I can add the following information.
One mile south of the village on Church Road, at a small junction of the Lower Gresham to Metton lane, is an ancient cross which has been restored. Aylmerton wayside cross (TG181388) is on the parish boundary with Gresham, and was said to be a guide to Walsingham. Three roads meet here, and a rough track heading westwards is said to have been part of the pilgrims’ way heading to the holy shrines to be found there. In the fields near the cross are many shallow pits. These known locally as the ‘Shrieking Pits’, because of their reputation for being haunted by the ghost of a Stone Age woman.
Soon after, we picked up the route of the Weavers’ Way for a short while before stopping again for lunch at a field edge. On the last leg of the route we encountered a field of maize where a small gap had been left open on the line of the footpath. On our recce at Easter this was just a ploughed field and we detoured around it to avoid the mud. However, despite a few overhanging leaves, the path was quite walkable so we headed straight through the maize. We passed the church in the grounds of Felbrigg Hall before heading back to the cars. The Hall was surprisingly busy with visitors and was hosting a trail run organized by Active Norfolk.