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Lodge Hills

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What am I looking at?

From here you can see panoramic views of the Stour Valley and the village of Wormingford, including Smallbridge Hall, where Queen Elizabeth I visited in 1561.

The rolling landscape is dominated by arable fields, which are interspersed with areas of woodland and small lakes that support a range of birdlife such as long-tailed tits, goldfinches and red-legged partridge.

This vantage point overlooks what is believed to have been a deer park, where local gentry would rear and cull deer populations. Even today deer are common; roe, fallow and Chinese muntjacs have all been spotted in the area.

Looking back…

This part of Dedham Vale National Landscape is particularly famous for its unique local history.

Not only has the area received visits from royalty, but relatives of iconic painter John Constable are known to be buried in the nearby Wormingford Church.

If you get a chance, take a look at the east window inside the church, where a giant worm-like creature is depicted. This creature is a folk legend (potentially a crocodile!), which allegedly terrorised the village during Medieval times.

In 2007 an old Tudor hunting lodge was discovered accidentally when a ferret escaped from a group of rabbit hunters. While digging out the ferret from its hiding place, the group uncovered a 16th century brick wall. The remainder of the lodge was carefully excavated by Colchester Archaeological Society between 2007 – 2014.

Walks and more

You are currently walking along the Stour Valley Path, which stretches 96km from Newmarket to Cattawade.

The Great Henny to Wormingford route is 9.7km walk along the Stour Valley Path that encompasses landmarks including Lamarsh’s Norman round-tower church and some remaining pillboxes built during the Great War to prevent German invasion via the Stour.

Many of these pillboxes have been converted into hibernacula for resident bat species such as pipistrelle, serotine and natterer’s bats.