Salisbury Hill, Tyrley Locks and the Four Alls
3.5 miles - allow 1.5-2 hours
Ordnance Survey map of the walk
This gentle walk takes you past Salisbury Hill, site of the Yorkist camp after Blore
Heath, and then skirts the eastern edge of Market Drayton. The route heads from Market Drayton to Tyrley locks, a picturesque lock on the Shropshire Union canal. It is recommended that you take this walk on a clear day, when there will be views across Shropshire to the south, and views of Blore Heath to the north as well.
The terrain is mainly footpaths and roads, but a field is crossed (via the footpath) at one point. The walk begins and ends at the Four Alls public house.
A map and a compass will come in useful, and binoculars are recommended also.
Start on the car park of the Four Alls pub. The Four Alls is
sited about one mile south of Market Drayton, on the A529.
The Four Alls is quite an unusual name for a pub, but is based on a
Medieval concept regarding the division of society. The pub's sign shows four
characters with a caption under each:
The King: "I rule all"
The Priest: "I pray for all"
The Knight: "I fight for all"
The Peasant: "I pay for all"
This may have been a satirical notion, but it has parallels with the
structure of Medieval society.
Head down Sandy lane, which is on the southern side of the pub, and leads off to the north-west.
The lane continues for about half a mile, before reaching a T-junction. Turn right, and head past a red-brick house up
the narrowing lane which leads off to the north. As you walk over the top of a small hill, Salisbury Hill is visible to the northwest.
Following the Yorkist victory at Blore Heath, this hill was the site
chosen by Lord Salisbury as a secure location for his army to camp overnight.
The site was secure because it had a wooded flat top, it had steep sides, and
it had excellent views all around.
It was important that Salisbury chose a
secure location because he was in hostile territory, and believed there to be
Lancastrian reinforcements in the vicinity. The site is so well chosen that
it has been suggested that Yorkist sympathisers in Market Drayton may have
recommended the location to Salisbury, as he would have had limited local
knowledge. The hill also of course bears Salisbury's name to this day.
Continue down the lane, which passes through a gate and narrows into a
tree-lined path. Ahead of you to the north, Market Drayton becomes visible.
At the end of Sandy lane, the lane banks round to the left, before joining a
tarmac road. Turn right onto the road, which crosses a bridge, before a
T-junction is reached on the edge of a residential area. Turn right, to head
east along this road, which banks round to the north as it passes Market
Drayton Leisure Centre.
You will now be on the outskirts of Market Drayton. In the 1960s, builders
working in this area uncovered five skeletons, about which there is sadly
limited knowledge, although it is tempting to think that they were the remains
of soldiers from Blore Heath, buried here as the armies left the battlefield.
Market Drayton is a small market town, which has claims to be the home of
gingerbread. It is also the home town of Robert Clive of India, who according
to legend, climbed the outside of the tower of St Mary's church as a boy.
Follow the main A529 road as it heads south-east out of Market Drayton. This is quite a fast road, but there is a pavement on the left hand side. Follow the road for about half a mile.
As the road leads out of Market Drayton, the route crosses the river Tern, and passes a farmhouse on high ground to the left. This farm is the site of Tyrley castle, which existed in Medieval times. All that remains of the castle nowadays are some remnants of walls.
The road slopes upwards and to the right, and approaches a wooded area. After
you pass by the wooded area there is a gravel drive off to the left. Follow
this drive, which leads past a hedge alongside a house, and out into a field.
The walk now follows a public footpath and crosses an open field, heading south-east towards a large tree at the front of a wooded area.
As you cross this field you will have excellent views to the north-east towards
Blore Heath. The fields you look upon are very much like they would have been
in 1459, though they would have been heathland back then. The Lancastrian soldiers would
have fled from the battlefield in all directions, and would have been pursued
across this land. Also, Salisbury would have had to rally his troops following
the rout, and direct them to camp on Salisbury Hill, which is now behind you to
The village of Hales is visible to the north-east. With a
pair of binoculars you will easily be able to see the church, and a large
residential building which is Hales Hall.
When the path reaches the wooded area, it forms into a more definite path which
runs to the right of the trees, and slopes down about 50 metres to a tarmac
road. At the road, turn left and walk down to Tyrley Locks. Tyrley Locks is a
picturesque lock on the Shropshire Union canal, and is worth a visit.
From Tyrley, retrace your steps and follow the road south-west for about half a
mile, which passes a small Chapel on the right and across the A529 back to the
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