Cross Lane path

By Sue Miller

Photo:Orwell in 1999. Cross Lane path marked in red

Orwell in 1999. Cross Lane path marked in red

Photo:Orwell in 1686, before the creation of Stocks Lane

Orwell in 1686, before the creation of Stocks Lane

The origins of Cross Lane path, and of the footpath (coloured green on the 1999 map above) that leads from the rear of the village shop to the south end of Cross lane Close, can be seen on the Chicheley Estate map of 1686. Cross Lane then linked the Back Street (now Lotfield Street) with Town Green Road, crossing the Camping Close or football field.

17th century cottages on the path show clearly on the 1836 and 1902 maps of the village and were not demolished until the 1960s.

Photo:1836 Enclosure map, showing Stocks Lane

1836 Enclosure map, showing Stocks Lane

Photo:Orwell 1902. Cross Lane path shaded red

Orwell 1902. Cross Lane path shaded red

The path, though well used, became somewhat overgrown and was often made muddy by the stream that ran alongside it.  There are frequent comments in the Parish Council minutes book about its poor condition, until at a parish meeting in 1950, "Miss Smith stated she thought Cross Lane Path should be piped, cleaned and gravelled so as to make this popular pathway decent to walk along".  The meeting adopted her suggestion and the work was presumably carried out in due course.

The path now has a tarmac surface and the verges of the section from Stocks Lane to Cross Lane Close are beautifully planted and maintained by Tony and Ann Ritsema of Oak Cottage, which stands at the path entrance.

Photo:Oak Cottage & Cross Lane in bloom, Summer 2014

Oak Cottage & Cross Lane in bloom, Summer 2014

Photo:Mrs Clarissa Freestone & her son Henry at Cross Lane Cottages, about 1896

Mrs Clarissa Freestone & her son Henry at Cross Lane Cottages, about 1896

 
Photo:Cross Lane Cottages, about 1960

Cross Lane Cottages, about 1960

This page was added by Sue Miller on 24/01/2015.

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