Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Cockfosters to Enfield Lock
I walked another segment of the LOOP yesterday, the 9.5 miles from Cockfosters to the Enfield Lock train station. The first part of the walk took me through Trent Country Park, which I'd visited a few times before. But I'd never seen some of the park's features, like Camlet Moat (above), a medieval moated island where people once lived. Excavations at the site have uncovered stone foundations, shoes and daggers and oak bridge timbers dating back to the mid-1300s.
I also passed the 20-meter-tall obelisk erected in the early 1700s.
And suddenly, just weeks after our cold, wet spring and our snowfalls, we're practically in summer mode! The path was bordered by masses of Queen Anne's lace and there were insects everywhere -- craneflies, bees, cabbage whites, flies and other buzzy things.
I watched this brave crow harass a hawk in mid-flight -- defending a nest, no doubt.
I was way, way north of the city. This is what the skyline looked like.
The path continued along Turkey Brook to Forty Hall Park. I took a little side trip to visit Forty Hall, built between 1629-1632 for Nicholas Rainton, a textile importer. Then it was back to Turkey Brook -- which, incidentally, apparently isn't named for the bird but instead is a corruption of some local resident's family name.
The path passed a small bridge, and according to "local legend" relayed via my trusty LOOP map, this was the spot where Sir Walter Raleigh gallantly spread his cloak on the muddy ground for Queen Elizabeth I to step across a puddle. Fortunately, it was a dry day, so no such dramatics were required for me to pass. (I'd have had to spread my own cloak!)
There are good-sized fish in the brook -- I believe they're dace? Also lots of little minnows, no doubt the daces' dinner.
Turkey Brook eventually became a bit more urban-looking, and although the somewhat romantic LOOP map emphasized the possibility of seeing kingfishers and mute swans, I saw mostly beer cans, shopping carts and stray footballs. This overhanging clump of lilacs and vines helped soften the brook's appearance.
By this time I was feeling a twinge of sunburn, and I was happy that the train station was right around the corner!