red lion lane

red lion lane

Joining Kingston with Higher Kingston


At one time there was a continuous footpath from Yeovil to Yeovil Marsh and eventually to Ilchester by ancient footpaths and lanes. It started at Kingston with Red Lion Lane, continued along Roping Path to Mudford Road. It then crossed the road and entered a large field called Green Cross. As it continued across Green Cross, the footpath became known as Hillon Path and is referred to in the Terrier of 1589.

Red Lion Lane was little more than a short footpath that started alongside the Red Lion Inn in Kingston and ran along the western boundary of the grounds of Kingston Manor House, later donated to the town by Thomas Dampier-Bide in 1916 and thereafter known as Bide's Gardens.

It terminated as Red Lion Lane at Higher Kingston but continued on the other side of Higher Kingston as Roping Path or, as shown on Watt's map of 1831, as Roping Lane.  It crossed Sparrow Lane, now Sparrow Road but even in 1901 noted as just a footpath, continuing northwards, running behind Green Quarry and finally joining Mudford Road and then continuing as Hillon Path across what is now the Yeovil Recreation Centre, eventually leading to Yeovil Marsh ands then Ilchester.




This map, based on the 1886 Ordnance Survey, shows Kingston running diagonally across the bottom left with Court Ash and Court Ash Terrace running off across the lower right. Higher Kingston runs diagonally across the top of the map with Kingston Manor House located at top centre with its extensive grounds, given to the town as Bide's Gardens, occupying most of the central part of the map.





This photograph, taken during the 1930's, looks north along Kingston from a position that would now be somewhere under the Reckleford approach to the Hospital Roundabout. Behind the bus shelter at right, and running alongside the Red Lion Inn was the start of Red Lion Lane, the footpath leading to Higher Kingston.


The northern end of Red Lion Lane where it met Higher Kingston. Photographed circa 1965.


Kingston Manor House, at this time incorporated into Yeovil General Hospital. Where the sign on the wall was the exit of Red Lion Lane onto Higher Kingston. The road running off left is Roping Road, earlier Roping Path then Roping Lane. A colourised photograph of circa 1965.