BOAT/UCR: Hoplands Lane

Location: Ashley, Hampshire, UK
  • Overall Rating: 3
  • Location: Ashley, Hampshire.
  • OS Explorer Map 131, 'Romsey, Andover & Test Valley'.
  • Starting OS Grid Reference: SU390296
  • Starting GPS Co-ordinates: N51 06' 50" W001 44' 50"
  • Finishing OS Grid Reference: SU368301
  • Finishing GPS Co-ordinates: N51 06' 90" W001 47' 50"
  • To see: Roman road, Roman settlement, Ashley CastleFarley Mount, tumuli.
  • ALWAYS follow the Greenlane Code!

Starting from the eastern end, this byway rounds a corner and proceeds south-westwards from the country road serving the hamlet of Ashley. Take care not to drive up the bridleway by mistake, but its pretty obvious. Following a field boundary on a surface of gravel and flint, later changing to earth, the hedgerows are well tended and pose no threat to paintwork.

Soon the green lane turns almost 90 degrees around the back of the field boundary on a north easterly track and enters Charlwood Copse. The surface changes back to gravel yet even in dry weather there are a few puddles around lingering from the last wet spell. It's all very easy going however. On crossing the virtual boundary between BOAT and UCR, on the northern bank of the byway and surrounded by wildflowers, we found a memorial to the crew of a German Junkers Ju88 bomber that crashed somewhere immediately nearby during the Second World War. People still lay poppies there. Soon after the memorial the tarmac resumes and the lane becomes little more than a driveway serving Hoplands. It ends where Parnholt Lane diverges to the south. An average lane in a historical awesome area.

For those interested in history, this lane in part follows the route of a Roman road running from Winchester to Salisbury (well, Old Sarum anyway). There's nothing to see above ground but it is still awesome regardless! Further awesomeness is provided by the presence of a roman settlement called Ashley Wood Camp to the north of the eastern end of the lane. Again there is little to see, but if you follow the footpath up the hill it is still possible to see the ditch and bank that encircled the site. Still more historical awesomeness is provided by Ashley Castle and a charming little chapel in the village of Ashley. Only the earthworks and the remains of the gatehouse and an odd bit of wall remain.We're not done yet! On the bridleway up to Beacon Hill, just to the south can be found some tumuli and just off the edge of the map lies Farley Mount, which bizarrely is a monument to a horse! Ok, we're done.

To Hampshire County Council this is Byway 6 and Byway 32, combined for convenience.


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