“I didn't realise there was so much history in and around Riccall”
Time 2.5 hours Distance 5 miles
Start at the Regen Centre in Landing Lane, where there are adequate parking, toilet and refreshment facilities. This splendid £1.25m community centre was opened in 2000 by the Duke of York. Turn right on leaving the car park and walk for 100 metres before turning left, heading south towards the river. This area is part of the historic West Field one of the pre-enclosure fields that surrounded the village.
On reaching the river turn right and walk along the flood bank until you come to Riccall Landing, where the ferry to the settlements west of the Ouse was situated and where the Vikings landed in 1066 on their way to do battle at Gate Fulford and Stamford Bridge. Many skeletons have been discovered in this area and these are believed to belong to some of the defeated Viking troops returning to their boats.
Carry on along the bank. Ahead of you is Wheel Hall Farm which stands on the site of Wheel Hall, a medieval residence of the Bishop of Durham. Before reaching this you should turn right through the stile and head to the Riccall – Kelfield road. At the road turn right and walk with great care (there is no footway) until you enter the village and rise several metres above the flood plain. On the left is the Prebendal Manor House, originally part of the Archbishop of York’s estate. For many years after 1869 it was used as the vicarage.
After a further 200 metres turn left up a narrow path that eventually takes you along the perimeter of the primary school which was established in 1931. After leaving the school, you head east and then north-east alongside some of the village’s field gardens (allotments). Follow the footpath indicated by the signs, keeping the allotments on your left.
On leaving the field gardens you head north across an open field, before turning right, heading back to the village, passing the Millennium Green on your left hand side. This area is part of the historic North Field. The Millennium Green is open to the public and has seating, a picnic bench and is a haven for wild flowers. It was opened in 2000, partially on the site of an old piggery. On reaching York Road you turn south and head towards the Village Green, Church, shops and inns.
If you wish to walk ‘Riccall Round Two’ you should turn left down Chapel Lane, opposite the Post Office, and follow the ‘Riccall Round Two’ directions as described.
The Church is Norman in origin, with an interior that was restored in 1865. Church Street, to the west of the Church, will lead you into Landing Lane and back to the Regen Centre, passing the old mill on your left hand side.
There were once three windmills in Riccall. The Old Mill, last used in 1910, is now a restaurant. It probably stands on the site of the prebend’s windmill, first recorded in 1295.