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Boroughbridge, a little market town on the river Ure next to the A1
Boroughbridge, a little market town on the river Ure next to the A1

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Route No. 182 - Wednesday 14 June 2006
Boroughbridge, River Ure, Aldborough - 6km
(Roman Town, closed today!,
& the Devil's Arrows) . . .

Map: OS Explorer 299 Ripon & Boroughbridge at 1:25000
Route Map on 'Landranger' base from OS Open Space service


Weir on the river Ure at the Langthorpe picnic site
Weir on the river Ure at the Langthorpe picnic site

My neighbour, Jim, and I drove the few miles to Boroughbridge, a little market town next to the A1, on the River Ure. We parked in the Langthorpe picnic area on the river bank at map ref. SE395670 and walked across the bridge over the river into the town centre.

I've been laid low for the last couple of weeks with a nasty little infection but the antibiotics finally got a grip of the situation at the weekend and so I thought it was time to try to get out and about again today.

The Milby Cut which bypasses the weirs on the river Ure
The Milby Cut which bypasses the weirs on the river Ure

Heron fishing in the river Ure at Boroughbridge
Heron fishing in the river Ure at Boroughbridge

We walked though the town to St. James Square and continued along the road towards Aldborough. At map ref. SE 399666 we turned left off the road onto a track down to the river bank. At the river the path follows the top of the flood bank. The river itself is a long way below the flood bank and for most of the walk we could only see occasional glimpses of the river through the folliage on the banks.

The drinking fountain in St. James Square
The drinking fountain in St. James Square

Start of the track to the river Ure from the Aldborough road
Start of the track to the river Ure from the Aldborough road
A snail crossing the track
A snail crossing the track

There were a great many giant hog weeds on the
There were a great many giant hog weeds on the flood bank and this clump was as tall as we were

We continued along the flood bank for about 2km to map ref. SE 411668 where we followed the track out to the road at the edge of Aldborough. When we reached the road we stopped for a drink on a bench at the road side. I was beginning to feel a bit wobbly - this was my first walk out for over two weeks.

Looking up into the canopy of a magnificent copper beech tree on the flood bank
Looking up into the canopy of a
magnificent copper beech tree on the flood bank

The copper beech tree on the flood bank
The copper beech tree on the flood bank

Walking along the flood bank - the river is down to the left
Walking along the flood bank - the river is way down to the left

Lock where the Milby Cut rejoins the river Ure
Lock where the Milby Cut rejoins the river Ure
Cattle on the flood bank
Cattle on the flood bank
A rare glimps of the river Ure from the flood bank
A rare glimps of the river Ure from the flood bank
This is an air strip near Aldborough complete with wind-sock and a small plane parked in the distance
This is an air strip near Aldborough
complete with wind-sock and a small plane parked in the distance
Ellenthorpe Hall seen across the river Ure
Ellenthorpe Hall seen across the river Ure

Aldborough Hall
Aldborough Hall

I was expecting to see some kind of sign to direct us to the site of the Roman town marked on the map at map ref. SE 406667. I had not done my homework properly. There is no public access to the site. The artefacts including the two exceptionally well preserved mosaic floors are in the museum at map ref. SE 404662. I was getting tired by this stage so we continued along the road through Aldborough back into Boroughbridge and the car park. The whole circuit had been about 6km and had taken us almost 2 hours to walk at my very steady pace. Jim had some shopping to do so we drove to the big supermarket on the edge of town and had a very nice bacon sandwich and a coffee. Jim did his errands and then we drove to the museum to see the mosaic floors. What a let down - it's only open at week ends until the end of June so we couldn't get in!

Aldborough Church
Aldborough Church

Next we drove to the edge of town on the Roecliffe road to see the Devil's Arrows. I've lived in this area for 20 years and I've never seen them. One of them was at map ref. SE 391664 with a little plaque exlaining the origins of them. The other two were in line across a field around map ref. SE 389667. Apparently there were five of them originally but one was broken up for stone to make a bridge in the town many years ago and I don't know what happened to the other. It is said that there was a summer solstice festival at this site until the middle ages. From the site of the Devil's Arrows we drove home. It had been a very pleasant outing - thanks again Jim!