The night before I arrange with Sir Hugh where to meet up for our next stretch along northing 438 . I’m sat waiting at New Hall whilst he is sat waiting at Cuddy Hill a mile and a half away, a misunderstanding compounded by the wrong mobile numbers. Red faces and ‘mea culpa’ all round. Once communications are re-established we drive to Singleton to start walking later than we had planned. By now there is a glimpse of sunshine.
Singleton is an interesting village with an old PO, several lodges and halls, picturesque cottages, a fire engine shed and a Parish Church. The estate was developed from 1853 onwards by the Miller family, wealthy cotton manufacturers working with the Horrocks family in Preston. The estate is now held in trust and appears well maintained. There are permissive paths through the estate but we lack the maps to use them.
At Singleton Hall’s South Lodge the original gates bear the initials of Thomas Horrocks Miller and on the gate posts ‘Demi Wolves’ taken from the Miller coat of arms.
The timber-framed fire engine house is nearby, it has decorated plastered walls and a louvred bell tower. The engine was horse-drawn and before a fire could be attended the horse had to be rounded up in the adjacent field.
Estate cottages lined the lane and worshippers were leaving the church as we passed.
The farms we passed were a mixture of traditional working and modernised for rich commuters. The strangest was an old thatched cottage with a very modern residence built within yards of it. Strange, who would want to do that?
Inskip is known for RNAS Inskip, a former forces base and airfield. It is now used as a military high-frequency radio transmitting station and the antennae can be seen for miles in this flat landscape.
Maybe you would be advised to read Sir Hugh’s account of the day. http://conradwalks.blogspot.com/