Name: Walk along the Frome to Chalford
Location: Cotswolds, Gloucestershire
First in Series: GC4JF0P
Walked on: 25th January 2014
Weather: dry and cloudy
Terrain: Old towpaths, footpaths, hills and street walking
Total Ascent: 1293ft, Outward – Flat, Return – Extremely hilly including a 1/4 mile, 2o% ascent up Brownshill
So, today I was unsure where to go. For most of the week all we have heard is warnings of rain and lots of it over the weekend. Then last night it turned out that we could just be in for a dry, even if overcast day, I’ll take that. Half an hour up the road are 30+ caches along a disused canal that I thought I’d have a go at and after bit of planning and I had created a circular route. The plan was to start from Chalford, head towards Stroud. Through the town centre and then back over the hills going through the villages of Thrupp, Brimscombe and Brownshill which are all located along the top of the Golden Valley.
I parked up on the side of the road near to Belvadere Mill in Chalford, the old Mill is a grade II listed building and former cloth mill, now offices. As soon as you arrive in this area you can immediately sense the history of the industrial revolution.
At the start of the walk there are several drops in levels and what used to be locks have become waterfalls.
I love it when I find relics of a bygone age still in place like this old boundary marker from the Great Western Railway Co. There is no date on this one but it probably dates around 1910.
Back of St Mary’s Mill dating back to 1820 this mill houses a large waterwheel and a powerful Tangye steam engine.
About 2 miles out from Stroud, we pass Brimscombe Port. The port was the centre for the shipment of cargoes heading both east and west along the canal.
The canal is undergoing a huge renovation project at the moment including the improvement of the paths – here’s Pip on one of them.
The restoration in more advanced in some sections, such as the one above which is popular with local anglers.
Once we got to Stroud we wandered through the busy streets and arrived at the The Black Boy Jack Clock that was made by John Miles of Kendrick Street in 1774. The clock has the figure of a negro dressed in a bay leaf type skirt ,in front of which is a bell hit by a club in the black boy’s right hand.
The return route was much tougher going than the flat canal towpath. We had several hills to climb including one that lead us to the top of the Blackness, an area of open access land over the Golden Valley. The views were fantastic, it’s just a shame it was misty and started to rain.