DESCRIPTION - LAXTON CIRCULAR
The picturesque conservation village of Laxton, in North Nottinghamshire is bursting with history, and is uniquely known for having the last remaining medieval open field system in England, which is still in use to this day. This beautiful village has a labyrinth of paths, alleyways, and tracks, which take you deep into the heart of this fascinating example of living history.
The ‘Open Field System’ was agriculturally widespread during the Middle Ages, where each village had two or three large fields, which were divided into narrow strips. Each strip of land was nurtured and tenanted by individuals or farming families. Today, Laxton has three open fields remaining, South Field, Mill Field and West Field, which can be seen as you walk through, and around the village. Clusters of barns and farms nestle along the streets, each displaying the name of the farmstead.
You cannot help but notice the church; its stature dominates, quite magnificent, and is a fine example of Romanesque architecture, with the oldest parts of the church dating back to around 1190. Seeing many changes over the centuries, it was once renowned as being one of the largest and most superb churches in Nottinghamshire, and even served as a school room towards the end of the 1800s. The graveyard is a haven for wildlife, especially during the summer months, you can see it bursting into life! Look out for the old Millstone and the remains of a medieval stepped cross, and the War Memorial to the North of the church, in commemoration to the men who served in the Great War 1914-1919. There is a further memorial in the Church dedicated to the second World War.
Across from the church, you can follow the track to the location of Nottinghamshire’s finest example of a Medieval Motte and Bailey earthworks. Thought to have been constructed around the time of the Norman Invasion; its castle mound and ditches are clearly visible. Nobility and Royals would have most likely stayed at the castle, as the guardians of the Royal Forests of Nottinghamshire, managed and maintained the forest laws of Sherwood Forest from Laxton Castle. Access to this site is restricted but can be viewed from the gate.
If you take a short walk out of Laxton Village, along Moorhouse Road, towards Moorhouse and Ossington, you will find a memorial stone on the right-hand side of the road, which overlooks the site of which a Wellington Bomber LP84 of 82 O.T.U (Royal Canadian Air Force) crashed, shortly after take-off from RAF Ossington on the 5th of January 1945. The aircraft hit an electric pole and plummeted into the South Field at Laxton, breaking off the tail section and bursting into flames. The rear gunner managed to escape, but tragically 4 other crew lost their life. The names of all crew can be seen on a further monument in the village church.
This treasure of a village is most definitely worth a visit and exploring the area by foot is the best way to experience all it has to offer. With a super pub and visitor centre, it makes for a totally unique day out.
The ‘Pinfold’ was a feature in most medieval villages and was used to hold stray or lost livestock until they were claimed. Any animals left unclaimed were sold at the markets and the money raised was used for the upkeep of the animal shelter.
Distance: 2 ¾ Miles (4.4K=km)
Severity: Easy to moderate
Gradient: Mostly flat, some slight ascent and descent
Approx time: 1 ½ hours (Allow extra for stops and exploring)
Stiles: None- Gates
Maps: OS Explorer 271 – Newark on Trent, Retford and Saxilby
Path info: Paths/pavement, tracks, lanes, field edge tracks
Start Point: Dovecote Inn/Laxton visitor centre NG22 0SX
Dog friendly: Yes, on lead.
Public toilets: Dovecote Inn- support the local and enjoy a tasty pint whilst you are there!
Refreshments: Dovecote Inn - super menu (home cooked) great selection of drinks. NG22 0SX
LAXTON CIRCULAR DIRECTIONS