Stonehouse Walk - Park Junior

Lesson Report

By Lois Francis

Introduction


Mr Richard Keating of http://www.walkingtheland.org.uk/  accompanied Lois Francis from Cotswold Canals Knowledge http://www.cotswoldcanalsknowledge.org.uk/  in leading a walk with Park Junior School, Stonehouse.


The Route


The walk started from the school and took the children along a footpath over the disused Midland railway line, to the newt ponds, where the children gathered around the information signs there. These are useful in describing how the variety of transport links in the Stonehouse area have helped to develop the town, from a Medieval Village to its very independent status today.

Photo:Looking at the newt ponds

Looking at the newt ponds

by Park Junior



The theme of the walk was centred around travelling but also linked with how human travel interferes with wildlife travelling and yet we travel for similar reasons, such as home building, to find food, and to bring up families.  The children were asked to put themselves into the role of an animal and at certain sections Richard interviewed them in their role whilst the other children took photos of the area and sketched.

Photo:En route to St Cyr's Church

En route to St Cyr's Church

by Park Junior

 

Photo:Examining the wall bordering Stonehouse Court Hotel

Examining the wall bordering Stonehouse Court Hotel

by Park Junior



The walk took the children to St Cyr’s Church, along the wall bordering Stonehouse Court Hotel, which the children were delighted to discover was originally an Elizabethan manor House.

 

They then walked over the Bridge at the Ocean and investigated the reasons for a railway line cutting off the canal.

Looking back towards St Cyr’s Church the children were fascinated by the etchings and photos of at least one hundred years before, showing that very little has changed.( Please see www.cotswoldcanalsheritage.org.uk ) - Topics - The Cotswold canals in Photographs - Eastington to Stonehouse).

Photo:Print of canal at Stonehouse showing trow being pulled by three men and St Cyr's church in the background

Print of canal at Stonehouse showing trow being pulled by three men and St Cyr's church in the background

From the Mike Mills collection

Photo:The canal at Stonehouse

The canal at Stonehouse

From the Mike Mills collection

Photo:Walking along the towpath, Nutshell Bridge ahead and St Cyr's church to the left

Walking along the towpath, Nutshell Bridge ahead and St Cyr's church to the left

by Park Junior



From the Ocean, the walk followed the towpath, which prompted the question, what was being towed? Thus we introduced the idea of ‘trows’ and why the canal was built.


The group walked as far as Nutshell Bridge, where the interesting shape of the building was discussed along with the bat holes underneath the bridge and how the modern bridges have bat holes included. This led to discussions about why bats would like to be near the water.


The children also noticed the grooves in the bridge fabric and were able to decide that they were cut by generations of ropes hauling trows and barges through the bridge.

Photo:Close to Nutshell Cottage

Close to Nutshell Cottage

by Park Junior

Photo:A trow at Stonehouse wharf c 1900

A trow at Stonehouse wharf c 1900

From the Mike Mills collection


The photo of the ‘trow’ can be found at www.cotswoldcanalsheritage.org.uk  - Topics - The Cotswold Canals in Photographs - Eastington to Stonehouse.



This page was added by Iris Capps on 12/04/2011.

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