Green lanes, grand houses and generosity
Grass and stoned tracks and bridleways
Ford, Montford, Shrewsbury
Ford Village Hall (see www.shrop.net/fordpcandcommunity)
Lat/Long: 52.6502964267, -2.8750151377
Ford has many old lanes. The one we follow takes us between Ford church and Mansion House. Ford Hall, another grand house, built in 1729, lies just to the south, across the stone bridge over Cardeston Brook, and past the early 17th century timber framed Brook House. We pass the elegant Ford House, built 1730 for the Ambler family, with its wonderful old barn, coach house, and dovecot. Then we follow an old green lane down over Cardeston Brook and across fields to New Street, where the now restored timber cruck-framed Oak Cottage, the only surviving medieval house in Ford, lies just to the west.
East on New Street, we follow the stone and grass tracks of the old road to Preston Montford, which goes on from there via Calcott to Bicton and Shrewsbury but is now severed by the A5 with no safe way to cross. However, we have no need now to turn here to the main road due to the generosity of the Field Studies Council and the Highways Agency we now have safe passage to Montford Bridge under the A5. We pass through the fields of Preston Montford Hall, a Queen Anne house set in 12 hectares of grassland and woodland. This was previously part of the Wingfield Estate, but is now the Field Studies Centre, it plays host to thousands of visitors and students a year. There are wonderful views from here across the steep banks of the River Severn to Montford and the Breidden Hills.
The Mansion House
The Mansion House, which is of 17th century origin, was built for the Waring family. Its gentrified façade is in classical style but its outbuildings reflect earlier periods.
St. Michael’s Church
St. Michael’s Church occupies the highest point in the village. It was first recorded in 1221. The impressive cast iron gates were given by Sir Baldwin Leighton of Loton Hall in 1861 on condition that the inhabitants of Cardeston and Ford-in-Alberbury could be buried there. Accepted by the Vestry in 1861 but revoked in 1876, they kept the gates!
South of New Street the ancient Marsh Lane used to lead to the squatter settlement of Chavel on the Welshpool Road and on to Shoot Hill. The two ends are now bridleways, and the central section a footpath.