10:30am Building Stones of Reading
Meeting point - Queen Victoria Statue in Town Hall square. OS: SU 7164 7356; Lat,Long: 51.4565595, -0.9701736;
Ross Garden will lead a walk circling Reading town centre examining the building stones.
10:30am Walk around East Ilsley
Meeting point - By the pond in East Ilsley village GR: SU 4937 8109; Lat Long: 51.5266001, -1.2896821. There is ample parking around the central triangle in Easy Ilsley bordered by Church Hill, Broad Street and High Street.
Lesley Dunlop will lead this walk of just over 3 miles which will take in the church at East Ilsley. We will walk up onto the Downs, giving a good view over the surrounding countryside. We will return into the village looking at some of the buildings on the way. The footpaths are good, although may be muddy at this time of year.
Geologically we are on Chalk all of the way but will see many features including dry valleys etc. East Ilsley itself had a whiting works which we will go past on our return to the village.
On the way we will we look at St Mary’s Church which has it’s origins in the 13th Century with 19th Century additions. The churchyard is also very interesting. The village itself has hosted sheep and cattle fairs historically and we will see the ancient racetrack on the hillside.
An old rhyme about the village goes as follows:
"Ilsley remote amid the Berkshire Downs,
Claims three distinctions o'er her sister towns,
Far famed for sheep and wool, tho' not for spinners,
For sportsmen, doctors, publicans and sinners."
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