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Cycle ride at Hornsea Mere
3:16pm Thursday 16th June 2011 in Cycle rides
NOT far from Yorkshire’s east coast lies Wassand Hall, a little known house with an air of peace and tranquillity.
It is situated at the western end of Hornsea Mere and is a real gem of a small country house. Hornsea Mere is owned by Wassand estate and was bought for £50, 400 years ago.
The Constable family and their descendants have lived at Wassand Hall since the 16th century, but not in the current building. The old house was demolished and a new one built in the 19th century.
At one time the Wassand Hall estate owned Howsham Hall and Boynton Hall, but was split up when the eldest son inherited the Howsham and Boynton estates and the youngest son inherited Wassand.
The house really looks lived in a tour is a delight. It is furnished with a mixture of differing styles and periods, including Austrian and German.
The grand entrance hall contains English, Japanese and Dutch artefacts and the small library has a collection of 2,500 books, some of which are in the process of restoration and cataloguing.
There are many other delightful surprises at Wassand Hall, including a fine mahogany George III longcase clock keeping perfect time as it watches you walk by.
The garden walk is a grand stroll into history passing through old and new woodland to the mere, past the paddock where Italian prisoners of war were housed and on to the final gem of peace and tranquillity, the walled garden. Or should I say two walled gardens as one leads into the other.
Originally the gardens were built in the 16th century, then restored in the 18th century.
During the war the family moved out of the main house as the army moved in for five years.
When the family finally moved back in 1950 the walled garden was a mess of overgrown plants and weeds.
Restoration started again in 1997 with the building of the summer house and conservatory and restocking the gardens.
When you visit the house make sure you take a look at the walled gardens and enjoy home baking and a cup of tea in the conservatory as you enjoy this place of peace and tranquillity.
Leave the parking area at Hornsea Mere, remembering the gates close at 4.30pm, and turn right onto the B1242. Cycle along following signs for Withernsea and soon you arrive at the village of Mappleton which is very close to eroded cliffs.
In the village near the garage, you will see a sign for a ‘viewing area’. Go left here if you wish to see the cliffs and the attempts to stem the tide with rock armour. There is a car park with toilets.
Continue along through Mappleton to soon arrive at Cowden. Once past the village, look for a right turn signed to Withernwick. A long straight country road now soon to give good views across flat land.
Pass through a couple of bends, then turn right at the main road on your way to Great Hatfield. In the village note the old cross and go left there at the village only sign.
At the T-junction, turn left signed to Ellerby and Hull. At the Wrygarth Inn, turn immediately right along a narrow road signed to Little Hatfield and Sigglesthorne.
Continue along this twisty, bumpy road as you ride through Little Hatfield to a long straight road to the village of Sigglesthorne. Keep straight ahead at the crossroads to a T-junction. Go right here with care onto the busy B1244 signed to Hornsea and Seaton. Pass the Swan Inn, then leave the village to look for signs for Wassand Hall.
The first sign mentions the hall, the second is the entrance. Go right here if you are visiting Wassand Hall. If not, continue straight ahead into Hornsea and go right at the roundabout, then straight ahead at the traffic lights. Look for the sign for Hornsea Mere to return to the car park.
Distance – 15miles/24km
Terrain – Flat with mainly narrow roads
Best map – OS Landranger 107
Start/grid ref – Hornsea Mere car park, grid ref: 199474
Refreshments – Hornsea Mere, Wassand Hall
Public toilets – Hornsea Mere, Wassand Hall, Mappleton, viewing area car park
Opening times – Certain weekends from May to August, go to www.wassand.co.uk for details.