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Alnwick - Corby Craggs circular Walk

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From the exposed rock face of Corby Crags, we walk down to Overthwarts Farm and into the valley bottom to cross Corby's Letch. From here we walk to cross the dismantled remains of the Alnwick to Cornhill branch line, with views of the Victorian 5-arch viaduct spanning the stream.

We then walk onto the church - St John's the Baptist, with parts dating back to Anglo-Saxon times, although the main part dates to 12th Century, it was later fortified with a defence tower in the 14th Century. 

The nearby Edlingham Castle was once a moated manor house around 1250, but with King Edwards I's interference in the Scottish Wars of Succession meant it needed fortification, therefore a strong palisade and large gatehouse was added around 1296 by Sir William De Felton for the Northumberland Lords. The Castle was purchased by the Swinburnes in 1514, and let to tenant farmers. In 1581 they were accused of hiding Jesuit priests, but none were found. The last two people to inhabit it were witnesses at the famous Margaret Stothard witch-trial before it fell into ruin in the late 17th Century.

Continuing on we skirt around the side of Birsley Wood to walk along a section of the Devil's Causeway, a Roman Road that once crossed this area. Crossing the burn, and again across the railway line, we pass the site of a Roman Fort although nothing is visible of it.

After a short stretch of road walking we pass through Battle Bridge farm, locally known as the Combine Harvester Graveyard, on our way up to Lemmington Hall. This Georgian Country House with its 15th Century Pele Tower and traditional buildings stands majestically in the parkland that we skirt past, along with the Evelyn Monument, an 80ft high column erected by James Evelyn in 1786 in memory of his parents. This originally stood on the site now occupied by 78 Copthorpe Road, but was dismantled and rebuilt here in 1927. 

Opposite this on the hilltop is an 18th Century farm with a spectacular battlemented frontage in the Gothic style, built to characterise a Crusader Castle as part of the landscaping for the Lemmington Estate.

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