Lady Chesterfield's cherry trees
Come out through the Beningbrough gates into Newton-on-Ouse, keeping to the left hand side of the road. This is Cherry Tree Avenue and the cherry trees which line it on each side once belonged to Lady Chesterfield, the last resident owner of Beningbrough 1917-1958. She also had her own pew in the church. As you walk down the lane towards the church, look out for links with Beningbrough in some of the cottage names and signs. You'll soon come to the church lych gate.
A church twice rebuilt by the Dawnays
The Dawnays, who owned Beningbrough from 1827 to 1916, were a great church building family and they financed the rebuilding of All Saints, twice, in 1838, then again in 1849. The exact reason for the second rebuild is not known - perhaps there was a fire, or perhaps it was to keep up with fashion in the Gothic revival. The 150ft spire was an impressive addition and can be seen from as far away as Brimham rocks. It was also the landmark which guided planes home to Linton-on-Ouse airfield in the second world war. Enter the church to have a look around.
A Beningbrough family church
After the dissolution of the monasteries, patronage of All Saints passed to the Bourchiers, lords of the manor at Beningbrough, then on to the Earles and the Dawnays.Throughout the church are memorials to Beningbrough families. On the east wall are three brass tablets commemorating members of the Bourchier family. Within the chancel there is a monument brass with effigies of William and Lydia Dawnay. The carved oak reredos and chancel screen also commemorate Lydia Dawnay, responsible for the 1849 church rebuild. Margaret Earle, nee Bourchier, is remembered in one of the windows.
A village of inns
Continuing on from the church towards the village green, you will see The Blacksmith's Arms on the right. This is one of the two pubs in the village. The other is the Dawnay Arms which dates back to 1779 and was formerly known as The George and Dragon. In 1840, there were a further three inns in the village. The reason for so many inns in a small village will be discovered further along the walk.
The chapel and the old school
Walk on past the Blacksmith's Arms to the triangular shaped village green. Standing in front of the Millennium Dial, you will see the Wesleyan Methodist chapel c.1924. The chapel closed in 2003 and is now privately owned. To the right is the Old School, a Grade II listed building which was gifted to the village in 1953, along with with the Parish Hall and grounds. The bestower of the gift was Colonel The Hon. L.P. Dawnay of Beningbrough Hall. There is an inscription on the wall of the school, commemorating his bequest. The school closed in 1986 and is now a residence.
Brick and tile works
Head past the Dawnay Arms towards Linton-on-Ouse and cross to the right as the pavement peters out. On the bend, you will see a public footpath sign, which leads to the site where there was once a busy brick and tile works. If you wish, you can divert here and walk about 400 yards along this path to see where the works used to be - now a rather bumpy field. Barges would stop at Newton Landing, to load up lime bricks and tiles, and to offload coal and other goods.
Why Newton had so many inns ...
Walk down the main road towards Linton-on-Ouse, and cross over near the village sign to the public footpath. You will come to Kyle Bridge. Look towards the end of the river; this is known as Fishers' End. This was once a perfect area to moor barges, and is the reason there were so many inns in Newton: bargemen could easily stop off here to go for a drink! Walk across the bridge and down the wooden steps, turn left and walk by the side of the Kyle towards the confluence, where you will have a great view of the River Ouse and All Saints Church.
A riverside walk and the village playground
There is an option for a scenic walk here, continuing on along the River Ouse then over a stile to Linton Lock, an interesting working lock. It should take around twenty minutes each way.
Otherwise, retrace your steps and walk back towards the green, but veer left, past the cottages on Shop Hill. The Village Hall is on your right. A further option here, if you're on your walk with children, is to call in at the village playground. To do this carry on the left hand side of the road till you come to Tollerton Lane. Turn left and within 200 yards you'll come to the playing fields. Here, go through the gate to the playground.
To continue the walk, turn down Back Lane by the Village Hall until you come to a war memorial on the left, featuring a Halifax bomber.
World war two connection
At 4.00am on June 9th, 1944, a Halifax bomber crashed in Back Lane, Newton-on-Ouse whilst returning to base after a bombing mission over Germany. Four members of the Royal Canadian Air Force and two Royal Air Force members died when the Halifax crashed and demolished a house, although the occupant and a newly born baby survived. On this spot, they are commemorated.
During the second world war, airmen from the Royal Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force were billeted at Beningbrough Hall, flying out on missions from Linton-on-Ouse airfield. Today, there is a room in the Hall currently dedicated to telling their story.
Back to Beningbrough
Further down Back Lane is the Old Sandpit Pond which is now home to the great crested newt. However, you are turning right into Sills Lane and then left past Chauffeur's Cottage. You will see the Beningbrough Hall gates ahead of you.