Leaders -Jill Sykes and Lesley Todd
Meeting Place - Austwick Green 11th June 1997
| We met at the Cross opposite the church. The pillar is a
nineteenth century replacement but the steps date from the fifteenth. Cross
House is now two houses and much altered but is probably from the eighteenth
The "Old Weaving Shed" is now a private house and Stan Lawrence spoke about die weaving industry in Austwick.
The site of the dog kennels used by the owner of the Traddock, who was master of the local hounds, is now a new bungalow. Opposite is the Knoll, formerly two cottages which were converted in the 1890's when the property came into the possession of the Byles family. We crossed the bridge over the beck, tracing the old ford and noting the straightening of the road which took place in October 1970. We passed Beck House, a mid eighteenth century building, much altered, and turned into the lane to the Little Bridges, conjecturing that this was the original route from the village to the main road and the site of the original Cross Streets, north of the present hotel. Pant Farm garden has a cheese stone and Pant Cottages are probably some of the oldest buildings in the village.
We walked through the gardens of Harden, once the dower house to Lawkland Hall, now a private hotel.
On our return towards the church Town End Cottages were passed, with a doorway dated 1712, and then the recent conversion of the former butcher's shop to two flats. The daughter of the original builder still lives in the village, aged 95.
We went up the High Street, passing Leek House, the Cuddy and Garden Cottage, all eighteenth century with later alterations. We noted Woodview, Moughton Cottage, Huntley House and the Gamecock. Coming to what was the old street we called on Jessie Pettiford to tell us of the cottages which have now been replaced by Orchard Leigh and Applegarth, and we recalled Trueloves' shop and Emor Terrace.
We hurried up Townhead Lane to Austwick Hall. By now getting weary we walked quickly past the Old School House to Dearbought and then Townend Farmhouse and Townend House. We paused at Battle Hill a seventeenth century house with a tradition that Bonny Prince Charlie slept here and that there was a skirmish nearby which accounts for the name of the house. Turning left into Low Street we paused at the Old Reading Room, a recent conversion of rooms which were used as a library and newsroom for the village. We hurried past Chapel House, once a chapel, then a draper's shop and now a private house and the Old Joiners' shop next door. Facing the Green are the smithy and three cottages, all dating from the seventeenth century.
In the gathering gloom we noted the Methodist Church, Ivy Cottage (the old post office) and the village hall, a former barn.
The Gamecock provided welcome refreshment after our marathon tour.
Original Window of former Post Office, Austwick Photo: Maureen Ellis