Greenfield Valley

A Medieval abbey, 19th century mills and a Victorian farm

Distance: 4 km/2.5 miles Time: 1-1.5 hrs

Parking and start: Greenfield Valley car park (SJ194774) on the B5121

Grade: Easy, little climbing, good surfaces Ten Minute Walk: Good surfaces with opportunity to go further if desired

Facilities: Greenfield toilets, café and museum open April to October. Walks open all year and ‘The Hatch’ for take out food 10am-1pm daily

Livestock: None

Further info: Trail leaflet and information at Visitor Centre or shop (01352 714172) NB: Less rural than other walks

Basingwerk Abbey dates from 1132. The monks were Cistercian, known as 'white monks' due to their white habits. They used the power of the stream to grind corn and also mined lead and silver, making the Abbey rich and powerful. Henry VIII's Dissolution Act forced the monks to leave the Abbey. St

Winefride’s Well According to legend, in 660 AD Prince Caradoc decapitated the beautiful Winefride because she rejected his seduction. Her uncle, St Beuno, reunited her head and body. Water gushed from the ground where her head had fallen and this spot became the Holy Well. The well is believed to have healing powers and became an important place of Christian pilgrimage.

The Leader:

The Walk

1. From B5121 car park follow path signed Abbey Farm Museum. The car park was the site of a copper works where sheets of copper were rolled to make cladding for ships to protect their wooden hulls from parasite attack.

The pool that powered its wheel is all that remains. At path junction, with Farm Museum ahead, turn R passing old school and The Hatch (takeout food facility).

Bear L uphill along lane. On the R is the pit for the waterwheel that powered the machinery for Abbey Mill that produced copper and brass wire for making nails and pins.

2. Follow lane then take next R down steps and cross bridge to the Lower Cotton Mill site. The large rectangular ruin is all that remains of the six storey cotton mill built here in just 10 weeks in 1785.

The Cotton Twist Company employed up to 300 apprentices, many of them under 10 years old. The cotton mill closed in 1840 but it reopened as a corn mill in 1850, producing flour until the early 1900's. Continue around RHS of old mill then turn L before iron gates to continue around back of the mill. Cross mill stream and go up steps. Turn R to rejoin lane.

Where lane bears L by Flour Mill Pool reservoir, branch R keeping alongside reservoir. At sculpted metal gates, bear R to more ruins. Near reservoir overflow above Meadow Mill ruins, bear L up steps.

Partway up turn R onto metal walkway across reservoir. Then turn L up steps to car park. Meadow Mill was built in 1787 to manufacture copper rollers for printing patterns onto cloth. Three enormous waterwheels, 20 feet in diameter, provided the power for the copper rolling machinery. The buildings you see today date from the 1800s when there was a rubber grinding works and tin plate works on site.

3. Cross car park heading towards entrance, but turn L through metal KG before road. Pass remains of clock tower on R then, after 10m, go R at path fork, past remains of the Battery works. Continue around RHS of Battery Pool.

Where path forks again go L across top of pool to come out in Royal Oak car park. The Battery Works have a poignant history. Established in 1776, they employed local people to shape pots and pans. The products were made by 'battering' sheets of copper and brass with large hammers.

4. From car park turn L up steps. Then turn R on lower path passing chimney. Go through KG and bear R towards road, passing a warehouse.

5. Turn L along road to visit St Winefride's Well,100m further on. Retrace your steps back through KG. Then take RH path to join disused railway track. Built in 1869, the railway was originally used to transport minerals from local quarries to Greenfield Wharf. In 1913 it changed to passenger use and has carried many thousands of pilgrims to St Winefride's Well.

6. Stay on this track, ignoring turnings on L and keeping straight ahead at two major path crossings. Eventually cross bridge and then descend L towards Basingwerk Abbey. Return to car park through park.