Shapwick and Loxley
The village of Shapwick sits on the edge of the Somerset Levels along the ridge of the Polden Hills. The church has a beautiful display of hand knitted poppies for remembrance Sunday.
On this cold day the low warm light brought out the deep red colours of the flowers on the church door.
Nearby the autumn colours were still out in Loxley Wood. I had not been into these woods before so I wondered down the main path from the entrance. The trees are dense and the ground is pretty swampy. My wellies were a good idea.
As I left the wood I noticed a footpath sign on the side of the busy A39 to Swayne’s Jumps. I had to explore to discover these strange jumps.
The plantation was dark and the footpath was not easy to follow as it crossed the ivy covered woodland floor.
Doing a bit of Googling it seems its name comes from a line of standing stones. The Modern Antiquarian suggests that during the English Civil War a rebel called Jan Swayne lived at the bottom of the hill in the village of Moorlinch. He was dragged from his bed to be hanged. He escaped with a hop, skip and jump into the swampy Loxley Woods. The stones mark his huge triple jump leaps.
I never saw the stones, perhaps they are covered by all that Ivy. Apparently, they are only a few inches high.
Out of the woods and along a lane passed a small group of houses the path opens out along the top of Knoll Hill. There were beautiful views over Moorlinch and the Levels towards the autumn sunset.