NL cycle route – 11

Mysteries of the Marshes

NL cycle route – 11

Start – Eastoft

A short circular route within easy reach of Crowle on the A161, through Ideal cycling countryside.

Eastoft Hall, the Crowle Stone and historic inns.

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With a wealth of interesting buildings Eastoft is the centre of a vast area, mostly claimed from marsh and fen from the early 1600s onwards.

The village formed the boundary between Lincolnshire and the West Riding of Yorkshire, bisected by the old River Don and with a high street on each of its banks.

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When Dutch engineer Vermuyden came to drain the area, he diverted many rivers, including the old River Don.

The old river course has now been filled in and partly built on, leaving the interesting sight of a line of buildings with a road running down each side.
After the enclosures much of the ground was further improved by warping.

Silt rich waters of the Trent were allowed to flood controlled areas, creating rich, fertile soils. You can easily spot local names along the route such as “Ness” “Carr” and “Moor”, all dating back to the period of marsh and fens.

Other local names such as “Grange” and “Park” indicate that after the drainage there was much more grazing land. Grassland is now scarce around the cycle route.

The route turns south at the corner one kilometre short of Luddington taking very quiet lanes to Pademoor. Turning north here, a short ride takes the route back to the start at Eastoft.

For an alternative ride you can return to Crowle by going south at Pademoor across the oddly- named Pauper’s Drain. Just before the road end, it crosses one of the old warping dykes that once supplied silt rich water from the Trent at Keadby.

A short length of public bridleway takes you west to join an isolated lane that reaches Crowle after about 3 km of easy riding.

The small areas of raised ground at Crowle are clearly visible from this road, separated from the main “Isle” to the south.

Crowle has many interesting buildings around the Market Place, the site of an annual fair in the 18th century. On the High Street, the 17th century White Hart public house still shows evidence of timber framing.

The whole area is rich in folklore and legend, like the interestingly named Godnow Road – so called as only God new where it went, as it disappeared into the marshland! The top of this road is also known locally as “The Fleet” – boats were moored here before the Isle of Axholme was drained!

Crowle Stone was originally part of the shaft of a stone cross. It now stands in the nave of the church but, for many years was re-used as a lintel over the tower door. The Norman church of St. Oswald is unusual in that it has separate roofs for the nave and chancel.

To the west of Crowle, the wooded areas of Crowle Moors are within Hatfield Chase, part of the largest area of low peat moor in England. Some peat is still commercially extracted although much of the area is now protected, with nature reserves supporting a wealth of flora and fauna

The grades for cycle rides – ride easy, ride steady, ride well and ride strong have been developed by British Cycling to help cyclists to decide whether a particular route is appropriate for their ability and experience.

The routes shown on the N Lincs map have been designed and approved by North Lincolnshire Council and the colour grading system serves only as a guide as to the terrain, duration and nature of the ride.

Cycle Routes

The North Lincolnshire landscape is diverse and beautiful. From the tip of the Wolds to winding country roads, North Lincolnshire offers something for riders of all abilities. Download your chosen map and get inspired to get on your bike.