A short history of Tadley
Tadley lies next to the northern border of Hampshire. The origin of the name is uncertain. In old maps and books Tadley can be found spelled as Taddanleage, Tederlei, Titherley, Tudurley, Tadel and Taddeley.
As with many other rural British communities, it is assumed that the village began as a clearing in the dense forest which at one time covered the greater part of England. In Old English, Tadde means 'Toad' or 'Frog' and ley being 'a clearing in the woods', so it possibly means "a clearing in the woods with frogs". Most sources, however, say that the name means "woodland clearing of a man called Tada".
- Temporarily closed
- Restricted use
Starting at the car park, cross over the road and walk across Tadley Common to meet Pamber Heath Road. At the junction, cross Silchester Road and continue walking until you see a gravel track on your left.
Follow the track for 200m, then turn left at the footpath between two fences (entrance beside ‘Silver Birches). Take the steps into the woods and over two footbridges. Continue straight on along the path which bears slightly left. At the next junction turn right along the path as it descends down through the wood to a bridge. Cross over the stream as the path climbs until you reach a gravel track. Follow the gravel track for 275m until it reaches the road (Soke Road).
Cross Soke Road and follow the path through the Industrial Estate to the end. Take the path to the left and continue along this for 100m then turn right through a gateway. Turn left and continue on for 400m along the edge of Benyon’s Enclosure (Englefield Estate). On reaching the road (Welshman’s Road), turn right and follow the line of the telegraph poles for 685m.
Turn right onto the track after the sub-station into Benyon’s Enclosure. Continue along the Right of Way, which runs straight through the enclosure, ignoring all tracks. Continue for 640m to the crossroads of tracks. Turn left for a further 365m emerging from the forest onto a hillside. Follow the track round and down passing between two lakes. Follow the track round to the right as you climb out of the valley.
At the top the path passes through the earthworks of an old fortification before re-entering the forest. Continue along the track for 180m to the ‘T’ junction, turn left and follow this for 550m until you reach the pair of estate houses to your left.
Turn right at the road (Kings Road) and follow this to the ‘T’ junction. Continue straight across to the tarmac road. After 30m, the track forks; keep to the left fork.
At Heathercote House turn right onto a short track leading to a gate to Silchester Common. Continue along the track over the common to the corner of Silchester Road and Impstone Road. Continue through Pamber Heath village to point (2) on the map and retrace your steps back to the car park.
Tadley and District History Society supplied this walk.