Gallows Fields and Gazen Salts Nature Reserve
I wanted to walk somewhere different this morning – don’t get me wrong – l love The Ramparts Walk – but that walk takes 25 – 35 minutes – [ l am back on my regular speed now] and is a circular walk, it’s also 3500 steps, and l want to increase my steps to 5000 for the morning walks. There are many ways to do this … l could walk 1.5 Ramparts Walk or l could add on St George’s Road, but that’s filled with houses and it’s not somewhere you can take lots of photos of freely without being reported as a wannabee thief or something far worse!!
Of course, l have contemplated increasing the walks to perhaps take into account walking 1.5 if not twice the circulars purely for the increased exercise.
My groin injury is recovering – but l discovered through a process of elimination that it was caused by a number of events – shifting in the seat to ease butt pain but also, my right knee is a weak area BUT my right thigh is getting more muscular and therefore stronger than my knee muscles and this is causing a problem – so a quick conversation with a fitness coach and he suggested increased walking, groin exercises and starting low again on the indoor bike one speed only for a couple of weeks at 2 mins twice times a day and working towards 25 minutes twice a day, but always being mindful of the knee which can also cause problems for the groin!
When did exercise become so complicated??
So, from this week l want[ed] to increase my walking exercise to 8500 steps per day and this means blah blah finding other locations to extend my walks into.
I wanted to desperately visit the Salutation Hotel, Restaurant and Gardens, which Suze and her cousin visted a few years back and said was truly lovely – however l sadly learned that it went in to receivership on March 6th – and therefore it is in the closed stage now! It’s a shame, because it would have been a really lovely Walks in Time episode also.
However what l did instead was walked to Gazen Salts Nature Reserve which is adjacent Gallows Fields and l tacked that on to a normal Ramparts Walk and this awarded me my desired 5000 of steps!
There is not a lot of wordery depth available for the History to Gallows Fields and YET it is steeped in history and death and the field is historically drenched in blood and the pungent smell of burning and burnt flesh on account of the field itself being an area of ground that was used and utilised with the trials and hangings, burnings, live burials and drownings of witches, villians and vagabonds.
The witches were dunked into the small stream known as the Guestling … it is an ideal fiction haven for horror writers. The ground today is just a barren field surrounding by wooden and iron fencing and railings. It’s never been built on, and l don’t think it ever will be … but who knows – stranger things have happened?
Guestling Mill on Strand Street is just down further into the town of Sandwich – although once a Mill it is now flats and apartments.
However there is a Sandwich tourist board sited outside the turnstile gate which informs the reader that in 1784 – The Canterbury Gate once stood not far from this spot but it was demolished that year to make way for new roads and the rubble from the Gate itself was used for their construction.
The Guestling Stream
Gallow’s Field was used as the town of Sandwich’s execution arena. The last hangings were in 1790. Through Gallows Field there is a walk called Guestling Walk which is by the stream that passes through and passes by the entrance to Gazen Salts Nature Reserve established in 1970.
After considerable research this afternoon, l couldn’t really dig up much on the fields however, l should imagine that the local library might have some more localised history to it.
As you walk alongside the Guestling Stream on the path this takes you down to the Gazen Salts Reserve gates and once there you are met by this large image board displaying the species that are found within. From the small research l undertook this afternoon l have found out that there doesn’t seem to be a great deal of work going on in the reserve currently, although that might be to do with restricted funding and covid.
But it was and did make for a pleasant 25 minute stroll this morning … see the gallery below.
It was a pleasant stroll, and although it was not stunning with sun, it still had a lot of charm to it and l think, l may have been the only person on the reserve at the time, it was beautifully tranquil. I saw a few squirrels including a wee babe learning to jump branches with an older one perhaps a parent which l haven’t seen before as a feral behaviour. I will return here and more so as the winter approaches and if we are lucky and see some snow, l do believe this would be simply breathtaking!
The Guestling Stream runs all the way around this reserve and there is a huge pond in the middle and l can’t help but feel that whilst it looks managed, it also looks natural and this would make for a more suitable dunking pond for the drowning of witches – perhaps a visit to the library is in order afterall!
After leaving the reserve l simply walked the typical Ramparts Walk and made my five thousand steps for the morning walk! Anyway, thanks for reading episode 3 of the series, catch you next time!