Phil Revell

Five Churches and two Chapels
Excellent full day circular walk with fantastic views.

This circuit takes a route out of the Gorge and deep into the local countryside - and visits five beautiful local churches, including one that dates back to before 1066.

Route Information
13 miles (21 kilometres)
Some steep sections. Muddy in places.
At a moderate pace, with stops to look at the Churches and a short lunch break, this should take approximately 6 hours.
Park in the Ironbridge Long Stay car park. Alternatively, for free parking, park at the National Trust car park at Benthall Hall (TF12 5RX) and adjust the walk directions accordingly.
Public toilets – none after Ironbridge, though public toilets off Broseley High Street can be accessed with a small diversion.

Jackfield, Broseley and Barrow Churches are open during the day. Benthall Church is open Weekends and Wednesdays, and at other times when the Hall is open to visitors. Willey Church is open once a year on the Willey Estate open day. More information about the churches can be found
here

Start at the Ironbridge visitor centre on the south side of the Ironbridge. For the Alternative start from Benthall Hall see ‘alternative” at the foot of this page.

Walk away from the bridge turning immediate left into the car park. Walk through the car park, exiting onto a wide bridleway (which was once the Severn Valley rail link between Ironbridge and Kiddermister).

Follow the track for three hundred metres. As you cross a narrow bridge the building to your right is a Wesleyan Chapel now used by the Jackfield Brass Band as a practice room.

Stay on the track, passing a pub on the left. Cross the road by the rail crossing gates, and take the LH footpath for 75 metres. Pass the Tile Museum on your right and bear left into Church Road until you get to St Mary’s Jackfield.

After visiting the Church bear right out of the door to the end of Church Street, then follow a rough track down to the riverside. Stay on this track until it join a single track road leading to the Half Moon Pub. Turn right away from the pub and walk uphill for 100 metres to rejoin the Jackfield Road.

With your back to the river look for a footpath gate across the road; go through, entering a horse pasture. Aim for a gap in the hedge line ahead, then turn left and follow the path up through the field to a clear gate.

Go through the gate onto a lane for approximately 150 metres, before turning right through another gate into another horse pasture. Go uphill on a clear path keeping the hedge line to your left. Pass out of the field through a gate and then immediately through another two gates ahead, to drop down onto a clear bridleway that leads up into a narrow valley.

This is Corbetts Dingle, and can be very muddy after rain.

Follow the bridleway out of the dingle through a wooden field gate and then past a substantial midden. Follow the bridleway that leads straight on (not the footpaths leading left), passing a wood on your left before the brow of the slope, which opens up a view of Broseley.

Follow the lane to the main road, and cross following the roadside footpath uphill to the cemetery. Turn right into the cemetery and take a look at the second of the chapels on the walk.

Follow the footpath through the cemetery, exiting by an old and narrow kissing gate in the LH hedge. Turn right onto the footpath, which leads behind houses to a second iron kissing gate, and then into the churchyard of All Saints Church (entry to the church is by a small door at the far end of the building).

From All Saints turn right out of the churchyard onto a narrow footpath alongside an old wall. Walk for about one hundred yards until you see a line of handsome terraced houses ahead on the left. Cross the road at this point and walk away from the road, through an estate of sheltered housing (Foundry Lane).

At the far end there is a road (Bridgnorth Road) cross here onto a scruffy lane between houses. This opens up and leads to a metal gate into fields.

Follow the clear footpath across the fields, past two burnt tree stumps and a water trough. Keep straight on past a large Oak, and then through a gate to a straight-as-a-die footpath between fields. Beyond the fields turn left onto a tarmac road, walking past a fishing pool and a farm before coming to a T junction (B.4376).

TAKE CARE AT THIS POINT
This road looks quiet, but vehicles are often travelling at 60mph or more.

Cross the road to the far side and walk downhill to a lay-by on the right. Go through the gate off the lay-by and follow the permissive bridleway through trees onto an open field. Go straight ahead until you join an estate road, turning right to walk out of the field and past the Wyldwoods Centre on your left.

Pass the Wyldwoods Centre and follow the path up a sunken way, through a plantation, and then down past a walled garden (no longer used as such).

As you leave the wall behind you can just see the tower of Willey Church to your right. On most days this is as close as you can get, because the building is the private church of the Willey estate.

From the estate entrance follow the lane past Willey Village Hall and then right at the road junction. Stay on this quiet minor road for approximately 800 metres.100 metres past a lake on your right turn right onto a clear bridleway that rises steeply into the trees. Follow this to the top, where there is a tarmac estate road. Turn right onto this and follow the road for another 1200 metres, past cottages and fields, until you arrive at a T junction. Turn right again, for two hundred metres, until the Jack Mytton Way leads right at a bend in the road.

Leave the road, then turn immediate left, following the field boundary north along the JM way.

In the next field the right of way goes straight across to a field gate, but you may wish to follow the field boundary around to the right. Arriving at the field gate go through (or over the stile) and then straight ahead down a old sunken way towards a bridleway gate on your left that leads up past a cottage garden to Barrow Church.

After visiting the church follow the churchyard around to the road and cross to the clearly marked footpath on the other side.

Follow this track between fields, enjoying the views in all directions.

TAKE CARE AT THIS POINT – A BUSY ROAD AHEAD

At the far side cross the road to the field track ahead and follow this track down to a bridleway gate. Walk down through the next field, taking an oblique turn to your left down the hill after about 75 metres to pass through clear gaps in the hedge line at the foot of the field. Follow the field path through two more fields until you pass through trees then over a plank bridge onto a quiet road.

Turn right and climb a short but steep hill into Wyke. At the top, follow the road around to the left, then turn right and almost immediately left down a farm track with Shropshire way markers. Follow this track through the Vineyards, over a stile and along a field edge on the left, until you climb a stile to enter Benthall Woods. Follow the clear track through the woods, ignoring turnings to the left that lead downhill.

After an incline the bridleway turns right and becomes you emerge from the woods onto a clear track between hedges. Stop at the field gate to the right and enjoy the glorious views out over Wenlock and beyond to the Long Mynd.

This track leads first to Benthall farm with its impressive barns, and then past a graveyard to Benthall Church, accessed via a gap in the trees to your left.

ALTERNATIVE START - BENTHALL HALL
There are many things of interest here, including the gravestone of a Severn barge captain, and an impressive sundial with an intriguing motto.

After visiting the church retrace your steps back along the farm track to Benthall Edge. As you approach the woods ignore the broad track leading right. Instead go through the opening and take the footpath to your right leading into – and then out of – a hollow.

Follow this for approximately 100 metres then take a clear footpath leading down through the woods and marked Shropshire Way.

Follow this until your reach a clearing with a meeting of several paths. Ignore the steps leading back up the hill and the muddy descent to your left and take the path leading up a slope to your right. This levels out and has views over the river. After about three hundred metres it descends to join a wide track that leads back to the Ironbridge car park.

If you are using the alternative start point you now need to go to the directions at the top of the page.