CHARNWOOD FOREST REGIONAL PARK
WALK 1 - GROBY
I frequently walk from and around Groby and thought I would share an interesting walk with you. People are looking for somewhere to take their exercise away from crowds and, given the weather, preferably avoiding muddy tracks.
This is a circular so you can pick it up where it passes nearest to your home. We have to start somewhere so I will take it from the Stamford Arms.
Head towards Ratby along Ratby Road and follow it up the hill. At the top of the hill at Oaktree Close, continue using the tree-lined path on your left, the line of the old Groby Granite Railway. Built in 1832 it was surveyed by George Stephenson and his son Robert and carried granite from the local quarries to sidings here in Glenfield. By the 1890s, Charnwood granite had become the main source of hard rock for England from the Midlands southwards. Much was sent to London and was reputedly used in the original paving stones of Trafalgar Square. A well-known colloquialism at the time captures its importance: "The streets are not paved with gold in London, they are paved with Leicestershire granite!". Wagons loaded with stone were hauled to the top of Ratby Road and released to travel to Glenfield relying on gravity under the watchful eye of a courageous brakeman. The line was closed in the mid-1960s.
Continue till you see Woodbank Road on the right and then go up that road. Where it kicks left go straight on along Laundon Road keeping left to join Forest Rise. Follow this (it becomes Forest View) and as you approach the school you will be passing above the disused quarry and skirting Quarry Park. In the right hand corner of the park there is a drive past a Scout hut which drops you down to Markfield Road where going right will take you back towards the Stamford.
En-route on your left you come to St Philip and St James Church.
Turn left into the church entrance and follow the path round the church to the graveyard for a view of the old Groby Castle motte. The church was built in 1840 by the 7th Earl of Stamford.
The castle was erected in the late 11th century and was partially destroyed a century later, most likely by followers of King Henry II so that it could not be used by rebels.
Carry on down the hill towards the Old Hall. Time Team did a 'dig' in 2010 and found evidence of a second great hall and chapel suggesting that this had been a very large and imposing building (see wessexarch.co.uk/our-work/groby-old-hall for further details).
The Old Hall is a Grade II listed building and contains remnants of the earlier hall. The current brick built building you can see from the road on the left dates from the 15th century.