Walk 16: Staverton to Badby

One of our great twitter followers, the ‘Radical Rambler’ (@Roy_Noon) has sent us his “Walk from my Doorstep”

He’s lucky to live in Staverton, which is one of favourite parts of Northamptonshire, way across to the western edge. It’s also one of the hilliest parts of the County with some terrific views

1.5 miles south of the village is Arbury Hill which, at 738 ft, is the highest point in Northamptonshire. On the summit, evidence of an Iron Age hill fort of an unusually square shape is plainly seen. The River Nene rises nearby & the Jurassic Way & the Three Rivers Circular Walk pass through the parish

His walk in pictures takes us from his ‘Doorstep’ across the fields to another beautiful village, Badby which at this time of the year has one of the best displays of bluebells in its fantastic wood

The footpath is well signposted, with mostly gates with only three stiles. At the Badby end it follows the river Nene from its source.

We’re in the process of walking the Nene Way & here it literally is a small trickle in a ditch. It’s fabulous to see it grow into where it become navigable in Northampton

The ‘Radical Rambler’ starts his walk in Staverton

The name Staverton means “staved town”. Before the early part of the 18th century, the original village was located behind the church. However, in 1720 a fire broke out which caused damage, destroying many haystacks, stables, grain stores & 22 houses

Ahead in the distance you can see the village of Badby & the ornate tower of the Church of St Mary the Virgin…

The church was mostly built in the early 14th century with a very fine continuous clerestory added in the 15th century & the tower rebuilt in 1707-09. The building was restored in 1880-81

Badby itself  has been spelt various ways since Saxon times, through the Norman period, until printing stabilised it in the present form. Badby, Badbye, Baddebi, Baddeby, Badebi & Badeby can all be found. Baddanbyrg or Baddan Byrig were used in the 944AD charter, but these more likely refer specifically to Arbury Hill

The land around Badby & Newnham changed hands frequently as the swirling forces of Mercia & the invading Danes ebbed & flowed across middle England

Badby Wood sits on a hill just outside the village & is owned by the Fawsley Estate (Fawsley Hall is through the other side of the wood). This estate belonged to the Knightley family from 1416 & passed through the female line to the Gage family of Firle, Sussex in 1938 when the male line died out. Most of the wood is a Site of Special Scientific Interest

The entrance into the wood is through a spectacular arch &, as we said, there’s always an amazing display of bluebells that are worth a visit on their own

The ‘Radical Rambler’ tells us that a family story has it that his grandfather helped with replanting trees in Badby Woods after the First World War

Thanks the ‘Radical Rambler’ – you really do have a lovely ‘Walk from my Doorstep’!