Walks and Walking: Epping Forest Walks In Gilwell Park
We decided to do a walking route around Gilwell Park today as it was such a fine spring morning with the day looking full of sunshine. Back in the walking shorts and short sleeved t-shirt for today as it was so hot yesterday and today looks like being another hot one. It is very dry under foot at the moment so just a good pair of walking shoes are required and, as always, Tedi was very happy getting in to his child carrier!
For all the photos from today please click here: Gilwell Park Photographs
To watch our short video please click here: Secret Bluebell Wood
We started the walk at the visitors car park opposite The White House at Gilwell Park in Sewardstonebury, Epping Forest, Essex. Passing through the big wooden Gilwell Park gates we followed the yellow waymakers through the park and various scouting activities to the views of the King George Reservoir below us and then carried on down the grassy slop to a kissing gate at the bottom. We then continued through the fields to catch view of well maintained fields with plenty of horses and llamas to a large fishing pond. Following the pond around with the water on our right hand side we walked on Daws Hill for a short while until we turned left on to Sewardstone Road turning right down Mill Lane, all well signposted so far.
Crossing in to the reservoir, we turned right and then straight on until we found the edge of the Lee Valley Park, close to Gunpowder Mills. Here we followed the London Loop green waymakers until we reached Sewardstone Road again at the next London Loop sign by a stile on our left, a short distance up the road, we turned left and ignored the rest of the Loop to walk up the steep flank of Barn Hill before walking down the other side continuing straight on and upwards until we reached the wide Green Lane. Ignoring the first signpost for Lippitts Hill we turned left at the second signpost to Lippitts Hill.
We then followed the yellow waymakers across the golf course, up and around to the police firearms training camp. As we reached Lippitts Hill we turned right, passing The Owl pub on our left we turned right up some steps at the next footpath sign. Following the obvious pathway we continued to a large metal gate where we turned right and followed the treeline (where we found the bluebells) down through the golf course before turning right at the waymaker which lead us in to Bury Road where we turned right and then left back in to Gilwell Park, some 2 hours later and a good 6 miles covered.
About Gilwell Park.
Whilst Gilwell Park is more famously known as the home of The Scout Association, its history dates back over 600 years to 1407 no less. The first record of the area can be found in the British Library’s Harleian register.
The land was part of the Gyldiefords, as named by the owner John Crow. John Crow owned several areas in the Parish of Waltham Abbey, Essex, which, at the time, were known as “parcels”.By 1422 the ownership had changed and the land became known as Gillrolfes, as in Glen of the Rolfes. This was common in those days, the first part ‘Gill’ simply being the old English word for Glen. Little Gilwell was an ‘L’ shaped piece of land sitting behind and to the left of the farm with Great Gilwell, the larger field, running across what is now the Boys’ Field to Hoe Lane. To the front of the farm was an open public area called Gilwell Green.
In later years an adjoining property of some 14 acres on the other side of Hoe Lane, was purchased by Richard Osborne. He built a house which he called Osborne Hall on the site of roughly where the White House is today. It would be easy to be fooled into believing that Osborne built something as grand or as large as the White House but clearly this would not be true. The building must though have been of some considerable size and well constructed because, although we know little of Osborne himself, the name of Osborne Hall lived on for the next 300 years.