In Roman footsteps

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written by Maureen Robinson

Malton is an old Roman town, and excavations have yielded priceless treasures. The Romans constructed a fort to guard the crossing point on the River Derwent.

A recommended walk, which may be followed on the wettest of days, begins in Old Malton.

Start. From Old Malton, walk towards the roundabout above the Malton by-pass, and the Wentworth Arms is seen to your left.

Take the Pickering road and very shortly turn left towards Eden Camp as indicated.

Instead of turning into the Eden Camp entrance, turn left just beyond, to follow a bridleway alongside the fencing.

You’ll see Eden Camp car park, and the original huts that accommodated the Italian and German prisoners held captive from 1942 to 1948. They were housed 64 to a hut, with about a thousand there at a time!

Reaching the end of the track you meet a junction. [There’s a maze of tracks, so take care not to miss a turning.] At this junction turn left, and then after 50 paces or so turn right. You’re now on a broad, firm lane crossing level land.

At the next junction, swing left and you pass a house to your left near the old railway line. Ascend the road to cross a bridge which takes you over the Malton by-pass.

The rough lane is banked either side as you proceed beyond the bridge, passing allotments and houses to reach a road junction.

You are now on the outskirts of Malton. Turn left, but after about 100 paces turn right on to an area named Smithson’s Court which is sign-posted into the car park. Walk across the car park to its far entrance, and turn left along Princess Road. Remain alongside the road as it curves right into East Mount. [Pickering 8 miles].

Approaching a T-junction, you will observe a high wall in front of you, behind which towers the impressive lodge, built on the site of Malton Castle.

At the T-junction, cross the road and turn left for a short distance. About 100 paces or so ahead, turn right towards Orchard Fields.

A public footpath leads to the site of the Roman fort Derventio. Trees are to the left of your path, and walls of the Roman fort are to your right.

The military earthworks can be detected in places, and you should allow time to explore the area in some detail before taking a path which continues diagonally across an arable field to reach the Old Malton road (ie the A169).

Turn right along the footpath of the Old Malton road. This is pleasant walking, being screened from the road by hedging and mature trees.

When the hedging ends, seek an exit to the right. A public footpath is your route across a field to a gate.

Continue beside left fencing, soon passing Abbey House, where the Abbey Residential Home for the elderly proved an admirable site 
overlooking the River Derwent.

From here you have the option of taking the gateway leading to the church. In the churchyard, you may recall that a policeman was shot nearby in 1982 by the gunman Barry Prudham.

The Priory Church of St Mary’s, with its fine Norman doorway, may attract your 
attention.

It was once Gilbertine 
Priory. St Gilbertine, the founder of the order, was 
buried here.

Leaving the church by the access road, you meet the main road. Turn right to 
return to your starting point.

Distance: 4 miles approximately.

Refreshments: A picnic may prove to be the answer.

l Why not make a full day out, allowing plenty of time to visit Eden Camp?

You’ll need at least three hours to do justice to this 
superb museum.