Thetford

Fullers Mill Garden

On Wednesday 10th June 20 members of the 5 - 10 mile walking group met on a warm summers day at Fullers Mill Garden car park, West Stow, for a 6.5 mile walk in the Suffolk countryside.

Although Judy, our group leader, had previously checked out the route, we had to follow a short diversion into the village of West Stow since the public footpath was closed for safety reasons.

Using a well trodden path leading eastwards, we followed the River Lark for some distance while skirting around the rear of Culford School eventually crossing in front of the school and its sports fields.

The school is housed in Culford Hall built between the 16th - 18th century and sits in 480 acres of parkland, originally the home the Earl of Cadogan.

Towards the end of the walk we came across West Stow's disused sewage farm and pumping station, built in 1887 to serve Bury St. Edmund’s rapidly increasing population. Evidently the expression 'sewage farm' was used as often crops were grown in adjacent fields irrigated by the outfall from them.

As we were making good progress Judy suggested we extend the route by approximately a mile which took us through part of the forestry commission land back to Fullers Mill.

Following the walk we converged on the garden tea room for welcome refreshments, including lovely cakes, not forgetting the carrot cake which was to die for!!

At 1.00pm, the gardens opened earlier than usual – especially for our group! This enabled us to enjoy a leisurely stroll around the very well planted gardens, river and lakes. The Lark River runs through the gardens and you can see evidence of the old mill that once stood on its banks. Sadly, all that it left are the mill foundations.

Eric Lawrence
5-10 mile Walking Group