From Punch Bowl to cross on the hill

By Post  
Thursday 2nd January 2020 3:00 pm
Petersfield Ramblers saw the Celtic cross on Gibbet Hill ()

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PETERSFIELD Ramblers recently enjoyed a walk from Hindhead to Thursley.

They arrived at the Devil’s Punch Bowl National Trust car park in Hindhead in bright, clear and relatively warm conditions.

Heading north for 250 yards through trees took the walkers through a kissing gate to be greeted by magnificent views of the Punch Bowl in autumn colour.

The route went unevenly downhill and after a mile the walkers came to a road and turned right towards Ridgeway Farm. Passing the farm, they continued downhill to a stream with a ford and a footbridge where they stopped for coffee.

Continuing northwards via Hedge Farm to Smallbrook, they turned east and followed a footpath into the churchyard of St Michael and All Angels Church in Thursley, where the graves include that of a sailor murdered in Hindhead in 1746.

Following the Greensand Way, they went south-east towards Cosford Farm, and on a left-hand bend at the foot of the hill they turned right to follow a path up the hill to Emley Farm and Rutton Hill, where they stopped for lunch.

It was steep and slippery leaving Rutton Hill. Crossing a field, the walkers came to a group of cattle penned so the farmer could move them to their winter quarters. The cattle were then transported along the walk route to Boundless Farm.

Just after Boundless Farm they started the long, steep and uneven walk up Gibbet Hill before a steady plod took them back to their start point.

Gibbet Hill is where the three murderers of the sailor were hanged. Afterwards fears and superstitions arose around Gibbet Hill, so in 1851 Sir William Erle paid for a Celtic cross to banish these fears and raise local spirits.

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