Monday, 1 October 2018

Over Fox Hill

It is remarkable that, having visited Foxhill Farm about thirty to forty times, I had not, until today, scaled the hill itself. In truth, at c. 300 metres, it is hardly remarkable: in Shropshire it would barely merit a glance and in mid-Wales it would be regarded as flat land.

I would like to report that the approach is impressive but it really isn't - just a low hummock with the vegetation no different at the top from that lower down. No tree line, no windswept alpine crags. Just grass. And sheep.

Fox Hill from the south. 24 September, 2018
Even so, the hill does afford some interesting views from the top. Looking to the north there is a good view of Daventry but 'the Athens of the north' is not a description to be applied to a town which counts the Tesco store among its finest architectural achievements.

From the summit of Fox Hill looking north over Daventry.
24 September, 2018
To the west the view is of more interest. The hill in the background is officially and almost laughably called Big Hill - all 215 metres of it. In the foreground Foxhill Farm with its various outbuildings is clear, and a closer view shows, in the middle ground, a white building with a rather interesting history.

From the summit of Fox Hill looking west. 24 September, 2018

This is Badby Park, now home to Elysium Neurological. It stands in a 50-acre estate and the house itself, originally built in 1826 for Charles William Watkins, functioned as a nunnery/monastery until 2005 when a severe shortage of nuns (notably poor breeders) together with the failure of some commercial enterprises, led to its closure.

A closer look at the view to the west, with Badby Park in the
middle ground. 24 September, 2018
The walk was interesting and revealing but yielded other than the handsome bug, Pantilus tunicatus, a September/October insect - and one which I foolishly failed to photograph.

No comments:

Post a Comment