Monday, 9 October 2017

Ingrave,Thorndon Country Park,Herongate circular walk 9th October 2017

On Monday the 9th of October 2017 I set off from home for a local walk with my Labrador Ben.I drove to Ingrave, Brentwood,Essex. Here I parked up in St Nicholas Grove and crossed the busy Brentwood Road into Thorndon Gate.

Ingrave's name is derived from that of the original manor in this area, "Ging-Ralph" or "Ralph’s-ing".

Here I pass an house with what appears to be a chapel, but can not find any information on this.

I walk down the road that leads to the Golf Course and Thorndon Hall. At the end of the road I take a footpath that leads between the road to the course and the hall.

I pass by Thorndon Hall.
Thorndon Hall is a Georgian Palladian country house within Thorndon Park, Ingrave, Essex.
Formerly the country seat of the Petre family who now reside at nearby Ingatestone Hall, the house is located within nearly 600 acres (240 ha) of ancient medieval deer park, meadows and forest. The garden is designed by Capability Brown.
Thorndon Hall is Grade-I listed with English Heritage, and the park is Grade II*-listed.

 The estate of Thorndon Hall, known previously as the manor of West Horndon, can trace its records back to the 1086 Domesday Survey commissioned by William the Conqueror. However, a building on the site of Old Thorndon Hall was first recorded in 1414 when King Henry V of England gave licence for its new owner, a merchant from South Wales called Lewis John, to "empark 300 acres (120 ha), to surround his lodge within this park with walls and to crenellate and embattle the lodge". The current house replaced Old Thorndon Hall which was located about a mile to the south in what is now known as "ruin wood" next to Old Hall pond. The old hall was damaged by fire in the early 18th century and was subsequently pulled down after being used briefly as farm buildings

The present house was designed by the fashionable neoclassical architect James Paine and construction started in 1764. The portico of the present house was originally commissioned and imported from Italy in 1742 for use on the old hall which had been remodelled by Giacomo Leoni in the Palladian style. Following the fire at the Old Hall, it was kept, and reused in the design of the present house.
The estate and newly finished house was visited in 1778 by King George III and Queen Charlotte on their visit to see the troops at nearby Warley Common.
Following a fire in 1878, much of the main house and west wing were gutted leaving a shell and destroying or damaging many of the Petre picture collection. The surviving east wing was adapted into partial residential use with plans to renovate the house back to its original grandeur. However Petre family finances were in a poor state after the Great War and in 1920 the house and a portion of the estate was leased to Thorndon Park Golf Club. Originally, the company had planned to develop the estate into a luxury housing development and golf course, much the same as the Wentworth Club and St. George's Hill in Surrey, but with the introduction of London green belt legislation limiting house building on farm and parkland, the plan could not go ahead and the company folded.

 Eventually the golf club acquired the house and grounds, but chose to move out of the main hall and construct its purpose-built clubhouse within the grounds. In 1976, Thorndon Hall was sold to a developer, Thomas Bates & Son, Romford, who converted the mansion sympathetically to luxury apartments and cottages in landscaped surroundings, woodlands and parkland. Parts of the former park had been sold off during the twentieth century for development on the outskirts of Brentwood. Essex County Council manages extensive areas as the public Thorndon Country Park. The nearby Petre family mortuary chapel is now owned by the Historic Chapels Trust.

I walk on through Thorndon Country Park and its woodlands.

I walk on through and along a road where I reach Thorndon Park Chapel
The chapel was built as a private chantry chapel and mausoleum for the Roman Catholic Petre family who lived in Thorndon Hall. It was built in about 1850, and dedicated in 1857. The architect was William Wardell. Having become redundant and subject to decay and deterioration, the chapel was given to the Trust by Lord Petre in 2010.

Constructed in Kentish ragstone with freestone dressings, the chapel has a tiled roof. Its architectural style is Decorated. The plan of the chapel is L-shaped in three bays, with a vestry and a bellcote on the south side. On the sides of the chapel are buttresses and two-light windows. At the west end is an arched doorway, with carvings in the spandrels, above which is a large three-light window containing curvilinear tracery. The east window is similar. The bellcote is attached to the south wall and consists of an octagonal stair turret, an octagonal highly decorated bell stage with lancet bell openings, and a pyramidal roof. Inside the church is an elaborately decorated roof, including gilded angels. Around the walls of the chapel are the Stations of the Cross on stone panels. The stone altar is integrated into the east wall, with a richly carved reredos above it. Some of the stained glass was made by Hardman, but has been moved into storage.

I walk on through the park and woodland before taking a path that leads me up to Jury Hill.

On a clear day, you can see over the Thames Plain to the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge and Canary Wharf.

The path is blocked!
I carefully walk past the cows with Ben on his lead, hoping neither make any unexpected moves.

I walk along the path and see an mound, upon reading the nearby sign I find out its past.

The Pigeon Mount in Thorndon Park South was once the base of an elaborate octagonal tower and was the central feature of a large walled orchard. The mound had a spiral path leading to its door and from the tower there were spectacular views over the Thames Estuary. The tower may have had two uses - either a summer house for sitting and drinking tea when visiting the garden of nearby Thorndon Hall, or as a dovecote for keeping pigeons.

The tower has long gone and only the mound remains.

I pass Old Hall Pond that is a day ticket water, I fished here many many years ago myself!

Ben and I leave Thorndon Country Park and walk back across Brentwood Road to The Green Man PH in Herongate.

The Green Man PH is a traditional village pub dating back to the 17th century, the Grade II listed Green Man counts oak-beamed ceilings and inglenook fireplaces among its original features.Once a family home, then a greengrocer’s shop before becoming a pub.

I walk along Cricketers Lane, a lane of beautiful cottages. I walk too far missing the footpath and have to backtrack.

A old 1968 Porsche parked by the Green Man PH

Now back on track I walk down a private road that the footpath follows, passing some big houses.

At the end of the private road I turn left by the gates that leads to what appears to be a sewage or water treatment centre.

I follow this path along side the fences before it heads out into some farmland. 

This path eventually leads me back to my car parked in St Nicholas Grove after a 8 mile walk!

GPX File here...........