This Chesters to Warden Walk is a 3 mile (one-way) section of the Daft As A Brush trail.
All of this stretch is along roads, mostly the B6319 which has no pavements but has almost no traffic so is safe enough to walk.
Please note I am not providing detailed maps or instructions of the route. You will find all that in Daft As A Brush’s book. You can buy a copy here with proceeds going to support the charity’s good works.
I parked at the Chesters Roman Fort car park (free for English Heritage members). Of course you shouldn’t park in their car park without visiting Chesters. I’ll write about Chesters Roman Fort and Museum in a later post.
Boatside Inn, Warden (parking for patrons only).
Chesters Stables at Walwick Hall. This attractive building was built in 1891 as the stable block for the Chesters Estate. It has recently been converted into luxury self-catering accommodation as part of the Walwick Hall boutique country hotel and spa. For anyone planning to walk Hadrian’s Wall in style, this would be a smart place to break the journey.
Remains of an ancient monument (cross?).
Some of the route was partially flooded (this walk was in October 2019) but when the sun came out it was pleasant enough.
Church of St.Michael & All Angels, Warden. The church describes itself as ‘one of the cradles of Christianity, not only in the north of England, but in Britain.’ St John of Beverley, Bishop of Hexham was thought to have founded an oratory at Warden in 704AD, as a private prayer retreat. The early foundations of the church used Roman-era masonry.
The name ‘Waredun’ meant a look-out hill and referred to the hill overlooking the village.
The lower portion of the church tower is one of the oldest Saxon towers in Northumberland and survived the Danish invasions which destroyed so many churches. Most of the church that we see today dates from 1764.
An ancient stone cross was moved to the churchyard in 1957 from an unknown location. Perhaps it was the top part of the ancient monument mentioned earlier. A plaque reads ‘Warden Village Cross. Early 7th Century.’ Looks more like a sword to me.
A few graves are enclosed by iron hoops which were added to prevent grave robbers from stealing bodies for sale to medical schools. This ghoulish practice was seemingly widespread in the 19th century.
This ornate lych gate was erected in 1903. Coffins were sheltered under the gate while waiting for the clergyman to perform the burial ceremony.
Chesters Roman Fort and Clayton Museum
Brunton Turret – Hadrian’s Wall