(7) The gap in the hedge is where the old footpath ran, and I don't think this gap has ever stopped being used. There’s a ditch to cross and a length of the old hedge between fields is still in place; the footpath ran alongside the hedge. The cyclist is heading towards Simpson.
The Half Lost Footpaths
Two footpaths converged on bridge 89 of the Grand Union canal before Milton Keynes came, and a surprising amount of their routes can still be found.
Since I published Part One, it’s now been explained to me that footpaths across the fields often follow drainage ditches. The ditches ensure the path is well drained and passable on nearly every day of the year.
That’s certainly true for the footpaths on this post’s map, on the wet ground Milton Keynes is built on; just look at all those ponds on the map.
The footpath routes in about 1900, with photo locations and some modern roads added. If you’ve ever wondered about a strange feature of your local area, or just wondered what was there in the past, online maps like this one (which I’ve modified) from the National Library of Scotland may well be able to tell you.
(Below) the map key.
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