The pretty village of Lockington, split along its length by a gurgling beck, is situated in a tranquil backwater just south of Driffield at the south-eastern extremity of the Yorkshire Wolds.
It makes the ideal jumping-off point for this easy circuit which follows a series of broad bridleways and traffic-free rural lanes with excellent waymarking - and not a hill in sight!
The manor of Lockington is recorded in the Domesday Book as being divided between the Archbishop of York (who gave his portion into the care of St John’s Church, Beverley) and the Count of Mortain, the Conqueror’s half-brother, who gave the tenancy of his portion to his follower, Nigel Fossard, who then built a motte-and-bailey castle to protect his holdings.
But the family which has been associated with the village for some 800 years – and continues to be so – is that of Hotham. The Hothams take their name from the village of Hotham, their original property, eight miles to the south-west, near Market Weighton. The family became major landowners throughout this corner of the East Riding, spreading their acreage eastwards from Hotham towards Beverley and arriving at Lockington at the beginning of the 13th century. Documents describe a law suit by the Hothams over manorial rights at Lockington in 1213.
The Hothams established themselves in a fortified manor house at Scorborough, a tiny hamlet now split by the A164 Driffield-Beverley road about a mile and a half south-east of Lockington.
The most famous member of this illustrious dynasty is Sir John Hotham, 1st Baronet, Governor of Hull in the days leading up to the English Civil War, who, on April 23, 1642, entered the history books as the man who refused his king, Charles 1, entry to the city. The king was forced to retire from the city gates, proclaiming Hotham a traitor.
Sir John and his son, Captain John Hotham, another leading military figure on the side of the Parliamentarians during the conflict, were captured, tried for treason in 1645 and executed. The Hotham estates passed to Captain Hotham’s 13-year-old son.
At the end of the 17th century, the Hotham manor house at Scorborough burned down and the family purchased the nearby South Dalton estate. In 1797, Sir John Hotham’s descendant, Admiral William Hotham, was created 1st Baron Hotham. The 8th Baron Hotham still resides at South Dalton and the family retains large holdings around Lockington.
Lockington was the home of a family which made its name and its fortune in America. The Remingtons lived in the village for 200 years between the 16th and 18th centuries before emigrating to America where they established typewriter and small arms manufacturing concerns.
APPROACH and PARKING: Lockington lies seven miles south of Driffield, just off the A164 to Beverley. Park in the main street at Lockington – actually called Front Street – in the vicinity of the white-painted School Farm by the red-brick wall with post box.
LOCKINGTON and SOUTH DALTON 7 ¼ miles: Allow 3 – 4 hours. Maps: O/S Explorer 294 Market Weighton and O/S Explorer 295 Bridlington
Start out along the main street (Front Street) in an easterly direction with ford and white footbridge spanning the Bryan Mills Beck on your right. Continue past phone box and a road signposted Church and South Dalton. After another 100 yards or so, spot the half-hidden Minster Way fingerpost on your right – take this path.
Go through a walkers’ gate into field and go a quarter right to a waymarked footbridge in mid field and then continue in the same line to a waymarked kissing gate and onward in the same line to trees with the pleasing facade of the old rectory, built in the 1790s, opening up on your right.
Go through kissing gate with the graveyard of St Mary’s Church appearing through trees to your right (divert rightwards here to visit Lockington’s quaint church which dates from the early 12th century). Go through the kissing gate just ahead and straight on over field with large detached house (Hall Garth) to your front right.
The earthworks adjoining the southern edge of Hall Garth represent the remains of Nigel Fossard’s 11th-century motte-and-bailey castle, which took the shape of a man-made hill with wooden palisade on top.
On passing Hall Garth, you will pick up a wire fence on your right lining the Bryan Mills Beck. When fence on your right finishes, spot the waymarked gate ahead. Go through it, over footbridge to a marker post with twin arrows within a dozen paces and take the lefthand path (Minster Way) going straight ahead over field.
After about 50 yards, curl left along the top of a low banking to a footbridge and Minster Way fingerpost. Go straight ahead, through reeds, to a gate at wood (Snowclose Plantation). Go straight through the wood along an avenue of trees.
Emerge from the wood over footbridge. The path now goes diagonally right over the crop field aiming to right of the prominent church spire in distance. Either turn left along the field edge and follow it all the way round to a footbridge and Minster Way fingerpost or go directly over the crop field, aiming about 100 yards right of the church spire.
If you take the direct route across the field, spot the huge tree ahead – aim to the left of this tree to arrive at the aforementioned footbridge and Minster Way fingerpost.
Cross the footbridge and go up left side of hedge. After about 100 yards, at fingerpost, turn left across the crop field (oil-seed rape, on our visit) on a good path. On crossing field, turn right (fingerpost) along field edge. On arriving in a concrete access track – STOP!
1: Here, we leave the Minster Way to turn right, but not along the concrete track, but back through the crop on a stout path just to right of the concrete track (as per bridleway fingerpost in hedge).
On crossing the field, go straight ahead (metal fingerpost) and, on crossing this field, go straight on past a new fingerpost. At the end of this long track, as it eventually turns left, go straight ahead into next field past a thick wooden marker post with four arrows and a conservation notice.
Bear right for a few yards and then sweep left (arrow) along field edge to arrive in a dirt road (Bealey’s Lane). Take the path opposite through double metal gates and plough on, through next set of double gates, towards the farm ahead.
On crossing field, turn left (blue arrow) for 50 yards and then turn right, round hedge corner, and onward to the huge complex of Moorfield Farm. Pass to left of the attractive farmhouse, go through double gates and straight ahead along access track with pond on your right.
On entering road, turn right for about 200 yards and then turn left along the road for South Dalton.
After about 700 yards – it feels longer! - cross the B1248 Wetwang-Beverley road and take the road ahead for South Dalton (Mere Lane) with, soon, the impressive spire of South Dalton church beckoning you closer.
2: Enter the village, soon passing The Mere on your left and continue to T-junction and turn right (footway) and continue up to St Mary’s Church with the entry to Dalton Park, seat of the Lords Hotham, on your left..
The church was built in 1858 under the patronage of the 3rd Lord Hotham and contains numerous Hotham memorials, some from an earlier building. Its magnificent spire is an incredible 208 feet high, a landmark for miles around.
Follow the footway for a short half mile to Holme on the Wolds. Just past village nameplate, turn right at a bridleway fingerpost and follow the stout path for several hundred yards to emerge in the B1248, cross it, turn left for 20 yards and then turn right along the road for Lockington.
After a long half mile, at minor crossroads, turn left for Lund and Bracken. After 700 yards – and about 100 yards before a barn complex – turn right (fingerpost) along left side of hedge. Follow the hedge in a straight line over several fields, eventually crossing a footbridge. Now go straight ahead with hedge to your right, passing the right end of a line of hawthorns, and then continue along right edge of field with the red roofs of Lockington ahead.
Go through waymarked kissing gate and half left over the final field, aiming to the left of the red-roofed bungalows, to root out a kissing gate in the far field corner. Enter a lane (Dead Lane) and turn left to the ford and cross the footbridge to regain your vehicle.