Barry’s Ermington Circular – Wednesday 15th August

On a dry but overcast Wednesday morning, eight Torbay Ramblers plus our French guest Christian, set off on our walk from the square in Ermington village.
The route lead along a footpath to the Church of St Peter and St Paul, where we paused to view the Holy Well, which is situated adjacent to the Church.
Ermington Church is distinctive for having a crooked spire. There are two theories as to why this might be. Firstly, that the spire was so impressed by the beauty of a bride attending her wedding, that it bowed down to her, but was unable to straighten up! Secondly, that the support timbers to the spire warped and created the bend. Most of our group preferred the former reason to the latter. In the mid 18th century the spire was hit by lightning. The then Rector decided to carry out repairs, including straightening the spire. The parishioners however objected to this, as they liked their distinctive spire as it was.
Leaving the village we walked past the War Memorial, then through the park to pick up the Erme Plym Trail. The way took us to a lane going uphill for three quarters of a mile to pass West Strode Junction. After turning left into a field, we descended through more fields to reach the lane leading to Penquit. This lane afforded views of Western Beacon to the north. Soon we arrived at Penquit Manor, which is the site of a Medieval Manor House. The name in Celtic means ‘end of the wood’. Penquit was recorded in 1238 as a Saxon hamlet. Travelling through more fields, we rejoined the lane, eventually bringing us to the main A3121 road. Crossing this road, we walked downstream beside the Erme.
Another uphill climb was followed by a downhill section to woodland, where we picked up the river again. Lunch was enjoyed on the river bank. After our picnic, we walked to Secquer’s Bridge, and after crossing this bridge, we took a public footpath leading us back upstream towards Ermington. This path came out onto the A3121 road once more.
Soon we climbed up an unmetalled lane which rose steeply, then steadily, to join a country lane at the top of the village. We then descended sharply to the village square, and the end of our perambulations of six and a quarter miles. On our return journey to Totnes, refreshments were welcomed by all at the Avonwick Inn.

Barry H