After a space of ten years the National
Rally returned to Lucton
in North Herefordshire
house in Lucton
The School, founded in 1708 by a London vintner, John Pierrepont, as a boy's
school is now an independent mixed day and boarding school set in some of
Herefordshire's most delightful countryside. The school is close to the tiny
village which was incorporated into Yarpole parish many years ago. The original
house, an attractive and symmetrical structure in red brick, has a contemporary
clock in the pediment, a bell turret and a niche with a statue of the founder.
The school, which suffered financial problems in recent years resulting in
closure, was reopened as a result of the munificence of members of the Croft
family and is now well re-established and thriving with well over 100 pupils.
The Club had use of all the school's facilities for the week of the rally.
A large level sports field for the campers, the boarding house, the school
hall, dining room, covered and heated swimming pool and the tennis courts.
The cricket pavilion was renamed 'The Tandem Inn' for the duration of the
rally serving local ales and cider. The school provided a meal service for
breakfasts, evening meals and lunch packs for those not wishing to do their
own catering. Yarpole
and cafe proved a popular stop for supplies and morning coffee.
its environs proved to be superb cycling country for young and old alike with
a choice of three routes each day of different lengths.
started the rally with a half day ride of 20 miles to Leominster
and back to get us warmed up in readiness for the week ahead and to do a bit
During the day we were able to visit the following places:
An ancient village but still very active with school, garage, village stores
and tea room and medical practice. There are two pubs and a cafe and all is
ranged along the long main street with several fine properties. There is a
14th. Century church and a castle mound with moat reputedly built by King
Merewald of Mercia. EARDISLAND
One of the prettiest villages in Herefordshire set along the River Arrow.
Children will enjoy feeding the ducks by the bridge. The 18th Century dovecote
has been restored and nearby is the 14th Century yeoman's dwelling, the Staick
House. There are two pubs and down the lane by the church there are tea rooms
with craft shop. BURTON
. 18th Century house, with a neo-Tudor front designed by Sir
of Portmeirion fame, built around a 14th Century
Great Hall. The house contains exhibitions of costumes and toys. DILWYN
An attractive village with a green at its centre. There is a fine church,
, which boasts the longest church key in the country at 17 inches
Pronounced Lemster! An ancient market town with a turbulent past which formerly
prospered on the wool trade. Now it is the second largest town in the county
- population 10,000 - with a growing antique trade. There are many fine streets
and buildings including the impressive Priory
with the famous ducking
, magnificent Grange
and the museum on Etnam Street. YARPOLE The village, which is the
centre of the parish in which Lucton is situated, was mentioned in Domesday.
Until recent discreet development it was a farming village with a peaceful
history disrupted only by the Battle
of Mortimers Cross
in 1461. Nearby is the Iron Age hillfort of Croft
, circa 400BC, and Croft
, occupied by the Croft family since Norman times and now administered
by the National Trust. St
has a 13th. Century detached belfry. The day was rounded
off with a 'Welcome Evening' and the rally was officially opened by local
resident William Fotheringham, cycling correspondent for the Guardian. Musical
entertainment was provided by members Tim and Paul Colling.
was devoted to the Club's annual Velocio competition. A test
of navigation and map reading ability with a set of questions the answers
to which could be found en route. In the evening members were able to take
part in the swimming and running part of the fun triathlon.
rides were entitled 'Castles Galore' with all routes visiting
Ludlow and its castle
The Market is still here and the bells of St
still ring out in this fine historic town with its 500 listed
buildings and medieval street layout. The 900 year old castle, built to keep
the Welsh at bay, became the headquarters of the Council
of the Marches
and was the last Royalist fortress to fall in the Civil
War. The market and castle green was covered in tandems and tandemists taking
a coffee or lunch break. An early stop was at BERRINGTON
. A National Trust property built in 1783 by Henry
. The park was laid out by Capability
is a beautiful 14th.
with a detached tower and close by the remains of a very
early Norman castle founded by Richard
, a Norman noble who actually lived in the castle before William
the Conqueror landed, WIGMORE
was built by the Mortimers
who played a large part in our history and once one of the most powerful fortresses
in the Marches. STOKESAY
, One of the finest examples of a fortified manor house in England
dating back to the 13th. Century. BISHOPS
where the bishops of Hereford had a castle on land bequeathed by
Egwin Shakehead who was cured of palsy at the Hereford shrine of St Ethelbert.
Until 1965 it was the smallest borough in England. It is an utterly charming
lazy unpretentious little market town well worth a potter round. The oldest
inn, the Three Tuns, has its own Victorian tower brewery and the Six Bells
by the church also brews. HOPTON
was given by Henry II to one of his supporters in 1165 this Norman
fortress suffered more at the hands of the English than of the Welsh. In 1644
it was held for the Parliamentarians by 33 men commanded by Samuel
against a Royalist force of 5000. After a month the Roundheads surrendered
and the mound became slippery with their blood as they were massacred by the
Royalists . The evening activities included a downhill freewheeling event,
Rickard's Rockets (Water propelled lemonade bottles) and a video presentation.
saw us visiting the Lugg, Teme and Clun Valleys with a superb
coffee/lunch stop provided by volunteer ladies in Presteigne Memorial Hall.
Places visited included;
with a striking Georgian Gothic interior which we were unable to appreciate
because of scaffolding erected to facilitate extensive work to prevent one
of the walls collapsing. Shobdon
- resited remains of Norman church. PRESTEIGNE
and the award winning Judges
and museum and St Andrew's Church. Radnorshire Arms in High St.
is a fine timber framed building. LINGEN
Battle of Pilleth
was fought in 1402 when the army of Glyndwr
with his Welsh archers led by Rhys
inflicted terrible slaughter on the army of Edmund Mortimer. There
were a thousand dead and the Welsh women inflicted shocking indignities on
the corpses. (Cf. Shakespeare's
Henry IV Part1 Act1 Scene1
.) The Churchyard made an ideal picnic spot
with splendid views down the Lugg Valley. MONAUGHTY. There once was a monastery
here but nothing remains. Wonderful medieval house across the road once the
home of the Sheriffs of Radnorshire but unfortunately not open to the public.
. The town on the Dyke. A rural market town with a marked
air of self sufficiency. BRAMPTON
. Home of the Harleys (of Harley Street fame) since 1309. Lady
in 1643 with a garrison of 100 defied the Royalists taking
the entire village into the castle for protection. LEINTWARDINE
Formerly the Roman town of Bravonium sited at the confluence of the Teme and
the Clun. The church is built on a Saxon site on top of Roman remains. BURRINGTON.
Cast iron grave 'stones' in the churchyard marking the graves of the ironfounders
of Bringewood Chase where the essential charcoal was produced. KNUCKLAS
. Fine 19th.Century railway viaduct on the Central Wales Line.
for the toilets that played music while we......! ASTON
. there are two circular stone houses and the new poplar called
the Arbor Tree or Tree of All Nations in the village centre which is dressed
with flags every Royal
(29th. May). The previous tree was struck by lightning a few years
The day finished with Magic in the Marquee and a barn dance.
was a day free of organised routes with members able to follow
their own ideas for the day. In the evening we had a picnic tea at Croft castle
where we were able to hold the hill climb part of the triathlon. A Punch and
Judy show entertained the children.
was entitled 'Hop around Herefordshire'.
Places visited included;
. This is the finest mansion in the county and was founded in 1430
from ransom money extracted from French nobles captured at Agincourt. It was
extensively restored in the eighteenth century. The gardens, neglected for
decades, have been restored and were well worth a visit.
. A historic
English house with a fine garden and a working vineyard which produces excellent
wines which, of course, may be tasted. HEREFORD
One of our smaller and more intimate cathedral cities standing at one of the
major crossing points on the River Wye. The names of many famous people are
associated with the town. Owen
was executed in High Town after the battle of Mortimers Cross and
the town is the birthplace of Nell
and also David
. Have a look at the cathedral
which was commenced in 1107. Adjacent is the exhibition building housing the
and the Chained
, both unique treasures. The top of Broad Street leads to the open
centre known as High Town with the magnificent Old House, all that remains
of 'Butchers Row' which stood here in 1612. Hereford is the home of Bulmers,
the world famed cider producers founded here in the 19th Century. KILPECK
Riders on the Long Route who had a spare moment were able to have a look at
the splendid little Romanesque
of the 12th Century with its wonderful carvings.
The evening Saddlebag Sale was a popular event as it was held in the marquee
which provided shelter from the rain. The Tandem Games had to be abandoned
due to the wet conditions.
dawned overcast and threatening rain. Those who got away early
avoided the worst while the wise took shelter until later. The ride took us
through some of Herefordshire's 'Black
and White' Villages
. Called 'The Jewel
of Herefordshire' with its multitude of timbered houses and a fine church
with a tall spire which dominates the landscape. A thriving village with two
schools, several shops, three inns and two restaurants. DUNKERTONS
. One of the county's smaller cider makers. Some of us were able
to call in and see how organic traditional Herefordshire cider is made and
taste it - of course.
. Another village stuffed with timber framed buildings. The New
Inn was new in the 14th. Century and stands next to the Market
. Off the market square is the church
of St Mary
with its remarkable detached belfry. SHOBDON
. This ex-WW2 airfield is now home to the Herefordshire
. Light aircraft, microlights, gliders and helicopters to be
'spotted' but little flying due to the adverse weather. EARDISLEY
Picturesque ancient cottages flank the main Kington to Hereford road. The
castle has long gone but the 12th.
with a fine Norman font was worth a visit. In 1974 a record
breaking peal of 15,000 Doubles lasting 7 hours 22 minutes was rung on the
church bells. The Tram Inn is named after the horse drawn Brecon
to Kington tramway
that ran until 1856. KINGTON
One of the five market towns of Herefordshire, Kington is largely unspoiled
by modern intrusions. The Lady Hawkins Grammar School was founded by the wife
of John Hawkins, the Elizabethan sailor, in 1632. On nearby Bradnor Hill is
the highest golf course in the country. HAY
. Just over the Welsh border and sitting comfortably by the River
Wye with the Black mountains as a backdrop Hay is an important market town.
It is now best known as an international book centre attracting visitors from
all over the world.
In the evening we ended the rally with the traditional BBQ followed by
'Song and Dance' with the 'Hillbillies'
Pictures from the rally can be viewed here.
rally pictures from a member.
The rally was open to members of The Tandem Club (UK). Annual membership
is £10.00 or 18 per year with membership for the first Joint Member or
'Family' member free. If you'd like to become a member of The Tandem Club,
link to the Subscription
Details page by clicking here.
The event was organised by Norman and Margaret Taylor.