A short history of Newtown
The Parish of Newtown lies in the very north of Hampshire and adjoins the border with Berkshire at the River Enborne.
The Bishop of Winchester created the medieval borough of Newtown in 1218. This forms part of his estate along with Highclere and Burghclere. A ditch, created in 1224 defines the bounds of the village. You may see the remaining traces of this mile long ditch on your walk.
You will pass the St. Mary and St. John the Baptist church on the Arbuthnot Woods walk. The church architect, Henry Woodyer, built this village church in 1865 of flint and features a square tower with a shingled broach spire. Notice the wild flower, ferns, and buttercup on the column capitals typical of his style.
Newtown Common is a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation with a wide range of heathland and woodland plants and animals. The mixture of open heath, areas of pine and oak woodland and birch scrub here benefit a wide a variety of species.
- Temporarily closed
- Restricted use
This walk explores the western side of Newtown Common and includes both heathland and a woodland walk.
From the car park on the corner of Jonathan Hill cross the road and follow the path for 150 yards or so. Take the right fork leading downhill towards the gully (this part can be slippery in wet weather).
After crossing a small stream, follow the path turning right when you reach a gate marked "Private”. You will notice the rare Purple Toothwort to your left just before this gate. You should soon reach kissing gates on either side of a small field.
After the second set bear left at the end of an uphill, sunken path, passing cottages on your left. Follow the path through woodland, across heathland and a narrow tarmac lane, to reach Sheepwash an unmade road.
Turn left and follow this downhill and over a footbridge to a ford. Follow this road as it climbs until you see a footpath branching off left just short of the brow of the hill and the Newtown to Burghclere road.
Follow the path through mixed woodland, past occasional houses on your left You will emerge on the corner opposite Jonathan Hill.