My Walk from Church Cross, Filleigh to Triumphal Arch

Filleigh is situated on the B3226 between Landkey and South Molton. This is an easy, undemanding walk of around two miles with a few gentle inclines.  It can be slightly muddy in places, but is generally a good walking surface.

The walk begins at Church Cross in Filleigh, close to the entrance to the Castle Hill estate.  There is plenty of parking in the layby, near to the unmistakable blue telephone box which is now used as a library.

The entrance to the walk is through the farm gate beside the layby.  It should be noted that the Woodland Walk is part of the Castle Hill Estate and is closed during the shooting season from 1 October to 3 February each year.  There is a notice showing the Holwell Chapel, which is where the track eventually leads.  However, there is no access to the chapel which is now used as a wedding venue.

Proceed along the path and through a wooded area where squirrels are often seen running up the trees.

After a mile or so the Triumphal Arch provides an excellent view of Castle Hill in the distance. The Arch is built on a hill opposite Castle Hill House and was originally constructed in 1730. However, over the years it was allowed to become covered in ivy and it collapsed in a strong wind in 1951. It was rebuilt in the same style in 1961.

This is Castle Hill House which can be seen from the Triumphal Arch. The house was built in 1730 and stands in fifty acres of parkland. There is a sham castle built on the hill behind the house to the north. The gardens are open to visitors and the venue is also available for wedding ceremonies.

These are some of the gardens which can be seen on a visit to Castle Hill Estate.

To continue the walk. This stone memorial to the late Major Lionel H D Fortescue can be seen along the track. There is also an octagonal cross in Filleigh churchyard in memory of the Major and other parishioners, who also fell in the South African War. The cross is 13 feet high and of Devonshire granite and was modelled on an ancient cross found in a wood at Castle Hill. At the base is inscribed:

“To the memory of one who never wearied in helping others, Lionel H. D. Fortescue, third son of Hugh, 3rd Earl Fortescue, Major, 2nd in command, 17th Lancers. He was born on 19th November, 1857, at Castle Hill. He fell in the action of Diamond Hill in South Africa on June 11th 1900, and was buried hard by the field of battle. Erected by his friends and neighbours of all conditions in the County of Devon.

Another photo taken from the Triumphal Arch showing Castle Hill House in the distance. It is possible to walk a little further along the track before you come to a sign denying public access.  Therefore, at this point you need to turn around and retrace your steps.

This is a photo of the Holwell Chapel, which is Roman in design and was built in 1771. However, there is no access to the chapel as it is now used as a private wedding venue.


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