1 hour
30 mins


East Keal Walk Three

East Keal

This is one of three walks at East Keal set on the southern edge of the Wolds where they fall away to the Fens. The walks cross a variety of landscapes from undulating hedged pastures to the wide open fenland fields.

By the time of the Domesday Book East Keal was well established. The name Keal originating from kjolr, Old English meaning ‘a ridge’. The underlying geology is Jurassic clays, and the village had its own brickworks until 1906 when bricks started to be massed produced in Peterborough. Many of the village cottages were built using the local bricks.

Toynton All Saints is also documented in the Domesday Book. Known as Totintun, meaning the farmstead or village associated with or called after ‘Tota’ from the Old English, the affix comes from the church dedication. It was a well known medieval and post medieval pottery centre. In 1958, a complete decorated jug was discovered. Later excavations by Mrs E. H. Rudkin in a field known as The Roses, located a kiln and a number of complete or near complete jugs. The decorated jugs associated with the
Toyntons were made from local Jurassic clay and were usually red/yellow in colour with an olive green glaze over the upper part of the jug. Motifs, often of elaborate design, were applied in a thin line of dark brown slip.

The route you will walk from East Keal through to Toynton used to be the main thoroughfare between the villages before the days of the turnpike (now the A16) and was known as Boston Lane. History records trade inpottery and other goods along this route, including the collection of flour from Toynton All Saints for the bakery in East Keal.

Starting point: The General Store at East Keal.
Grid reference: TF 097 169.

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The church was built during the 13th and 14th centuries but the west tower was rebuilt in the Early English style in 1853 after the original fell down.

The farmhouse on the left of the two bridges is old Toynton watermill. It was working until 1927. The iron mill wheel was removed in 1939 as part of the war effort. At the time of its closure, it was said to be the only overshot wheel in Lincolnshire.

  • 1Walk down Church Lane, past St Helen’s church and the Old Rectory and onto two gates and a stile. Follow the bridleway as it runs alongside the hedge to another gate and stile.
  • 2Keep on the bridleway, which bears left, across the field to a gate, stile and then sign. Follow the bridleway, by keeping the fence and hedge on your right, to a gate and two footbridges.
  • 15Follow the farm track up hill into Toynton All Saints. Follow Watermill Lane to Main Road with the church facing you.
  • 16 Turn left and follow the road, past the converted windmill on the right, for approximately 400m and take the footpath on the left between some lodges which are part of the Linkage Community College Campus and Toynton Hall. The path bends to the right and then runs parallel to the road, initially between a hedge and fence, and then becomes what is known locally as Avenue path, which leads to the busy A16 road.
  • 17Cross the road with care and follow the bridleway straight ahead. Follow the track for approximately 1 km (2/3 mile) to where the bridleway and a footpath cross.
  • 18Turn left onto the footpath and cross the stream. Approximately 50m after the stream take the footpath on the left and bear left across the field to the far corner.
  • 19Enter Keal Carr Nature Reserve and follow the footpath along a boardwalk and up some steps to a large sycamore tree.
  • 20Follow the footpath sign out of the reserve and walk along the fence line for 50m before turning left across the field heading towards the new farmhouse and barns on the far side of the A16.
  • 21At the A16 turn right and follow the roadside path back towards East Keal.
  • 22Take the public footpath on the left opposite the road signed to Old Bolingbroke. At the corner of the field turn right to return to Church Lane and the starting point.

This walk uses field paths, tracks and lanes. You may encounter stiles and livestock.

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Starting point: The General Store, East Keal, PE23 4AT

Grid reference: TF 097 169