Gunby Hall & Gardens was the home of the Massingberd family. Explore the wider estate with a visit to our recently renovated ice house pond on the banks of which, according to legend, Emily Langton-Massingberd assembled her tenantry and, from the vantage point of a rowing boat, lectured them on the evils of drink. On your way back look out for the remains of the former Gunby village, which was once a thriving settlement with 15 households in 1563, but had disappeared by the time the Hall was built in 1700.
- Bus stop
Start: Gunby Hall and Gardens
From the courtyard, go through the white picket gate and follow the garden path towards the church, past the carp pond.
Leave the gardens and go through the gate on your left before the church.
Although not National Trust, St. Peter's church is open every day and visitors are welcome to take a look inside and discover its history. It was rebuilt entirely by Charles Langton-Massingberd in 1870, and contains a stained glass window commemorating the life of Margaret Massingberd.
Go past the church and bear right following the fenceline of the gardens. From time to time, the field will be home to our tenant farmer's herd of Lincoln Red cattle. Do take care when walking through the field, and keep your dogs on a short lead. Look to your left and you will see the remains of the deserted medieval village.
Explore the lumps and bumps of the once thriving village of Gunby, which was originally known as 'Gunnebi' and is first recorded in the Domesday Survey when the lands had been granted to Eudo Fitz Spirewic, a Norman baron. All that remains today are the earthworks of hollow-ways, tracks and housing platforms. When walking across the parkland, look out for brown hare, green woodpecker and mistle thrush.
When you reach the fence which divides the fields, turn left and head towards the clump of trees.
Go through the gate and you have arrived at the ice house pond.
Hidden beneath the overgrowth on the eastern side of the pond is the former ice house. During the winter, ice would have been collected from the pond and stored in the ice house where it could have been used as a source of ice during the summer, pre-refrigeration. The pond is surrounded by wildflowers, including snowdrops, winter aconites and early purple orchids, marsh marigold and yellow flag iris. These provide a haven for nectaring bees, hoverflies and butterflies including small tortoiseshell and speckled wood.
Walk around the pond and enter the field through the gate.
Pass through the wrought iron kissing gate, and return to the gardens back the way you came.
End: Gunby Hall and Gardens
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Easy
- Distance: 1 mile
- Time: 30 minutes
- OS Map: 274
Grass field and coarse stone path
- How to get here:
By train: Skegness 7½ miles
By road: On A158 off Gunby roundabout between Spilsby and Skegness. Signposted from A158. 13 miles east of Horncastle
Parking: Free, 30 yards from entrance
Sat-Nav: PE23 5SS - please note that our entrance is an exit off the roundabout and not slightly beyond or before as some SatNav systems suggest
By bus: By busNo.6 from Lincoln and Skegness. Layby at Gunby roundabout is a request stop. 530 yards walk to entrance
Free parking and toilets
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