Rambling around Rushden

Once again it is the Ramblers’ Areas’ AGM season and as a trustee I have opted to attend a number of them.  My first of the season was the Northamptonshire AGM on 1 December 2019, held in the scout hut at Rushden, 16 miles to east of Northampton.

This time it was the Area’s 20s-40s group‘s turn to host the AGM.  I arrived in time for a five-mile walk from Rushden, led by Tim who was reading the map from his phone.  A longer walk, which was well attended, had started earlier.

We crossed Rushden Town Council’s elegant Hall Park,

1 Hall Park

Hall Park

then found our way through a maze of housing estates to a bridleway which runs along a strip of woodland on the south-west edge of Rushden.

2 Path along edge of town

Bridleway on the edge of Rushden

This took us to the Irchester Road, which we followed past Knuston Hall to the railway line, the Midland line from St Pancras.  We crossed this and then took a path with wide, flat views to the south-west

4 flat land

Flat country

and then under the railway.

3 under the railway

Under the railway

We followed the railway then turned east, along the county boundary, to Wymington, in Bedford Borough.

5 county boundary hedge

Following the county boundary

From here it was a short walk on roads back to Rushden.

6 Rushden sign

Back to Rushden

As we entered the main part of the town we passed the site of the last working blacksmiths.

7 plaque

A T Ginns & Son, the last working blacksmiths


8 The Smithy

The Smithy







I also had a good view of the church, which Pevsner considers ‘a very grand Perp parish church’.

9 church

Rushden parish church

Later I looked at the map and realised that we had not followed definitive routes over the fields but rather had walked along field boundaries.  The reason was probably that one of the paths was definitive in Bedford borough but stopped at the Northamptonshire boundary (grid reference SP 945653).  An application must be made to Northamptonshire County Council before 1 January 2026 when the definitive map is closed to the addition of certain paths.

Back at the scout hut there were welcome tea and cakes, organised by the 20s-40s group, Then we had the AGM.  There were only 26 people there (many on the two walks had slipped away) but it was good to see a number of younger members from the host group.  The Area has some excellent volunteers but, as is so often the case, we need more.  During the meeting one of the members of the 20s-40s volunteered to run the website, which was very encouraging.

We mourned the loss during the year of two brilliant Northamptonshire stalwarts, Bob Coles and Maurice Tebbutt.  Bob’s wonderful displays, which he created when he was Area publicity officer, were on show.

10 Bob's display

One of Bob’s display panels

I had taken part in many of these campaigns and was amused to see a photo of a much-younger me being interviewed by Radio Northamptonshire in 1995.

Radio interview

Radio interview

The Area does good work defending paths and open space, in a county which is severely short of money.  I admire its stoicism in the face of such adversity.

About campaignerkate

I am the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society and I campaign for public access, paths and open spaces in town and country.
This entry was posted in Access, AGMs, Public paths, Ramblers, walking and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Rambling around Rushden

  1. Sue Rumfitt, former rights-of-way officer with Bedfordshire County Council, has written: I don’t know this particular case, but you may find Kate that the dead end path in Wyminton that terminates on the county boundary is like this as a consequence of inclosure. It is not uncommon to have paths terminating on parish boundaries around this part of Bedfordshire because in one parish the commissioners set out a path, but then when the adjoining parish was inclosed that parish’s commissioners did not set one out to meet it . A lot of our Parliamentary inclosure was very early (pre 1801 Act) and operated on the model that all highways were stopped up and then those that were to be retained or newly created set out in the award. Because of the parochial nature of the process it did sometimes result in dead end paths (or routes that abruptly changed status) at the parish boundary. Knuston Hall is a regular IPROW course venue and we’ve held one conference/update their. I haven’t been for a while but it used to run a thatching course and a feature of being there on a summer’s day was being able to go out at lunch time and watch the thatchers at work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s