We all know the Downs has a great history, starting with it’s preservation ‘for ever hereafter’ for our recreational use by an Act of Parliament – The Downs Act 1861. Here are some other interesting facts for you as you Nordic walk across the Downs:
- There were several huge quarries covering large parts of the Downs, including an enormous one (almost as large as the Glen) on the section where Ladies Mile meets Stoke Road.
- As you head out across the Downs from the café with the water tower behind you, the rough area on the left is known as The Dumps and is the last visual reminder that the Downs was once mined extensively for lead, iron and other minerals. There was also a small quarry in that area.
- Once you’ve gone through the narrow (and currently rather muddy) section between the trees you cross a tarmac path. This was once a road, connecting Worrall Road with Ivywell Road for the benefit of Sneyd Park residents – but the public objected so strongly that it was re-turfed then laid as a footpath.
- The area just beyond the path shows the outlines, by way of low grass ridges, of an ancient field system (300Bc-400AD) so keep a look out for them.
I hope you enjoy looking out for some of the above – I have!