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The Icknield Way

Ancient Trackway


That part of the Upper Icknield Way which, on the Ordnance Map, is called Ickleton Way, leads, "they say," to the world's end.
A gentleman once travelled along this road till he came to the fiery mountains. He turned back long before he reached them, for the smoke and smell nearly suffocated him. he lived near Watlington, but the woman who told me this had forgotton his name, though she had heard many speak of him. He died before she came into this part.

The road is also called Akney Way and the Drove Road, on account of the number of sheep driven along it at fair time. It is said to go all round the world, so that if you keep along it and travel on you will come back to the place you started from. It is also said to go from sea to sea.

A drover who had been "everywhere," Bucks., Oxfordshire, Herts., all over Wales, had always found the Akney Way wherever he had been. (Heard in 1891.)

In April, 1892, I walked along the Icknield Way from Crowmarsh, in Oxfordshire, to Dunstable, in Bedfordshire (a distance of 35 miles). I was unable to gain any further information about the legend previously mentioned, but, all along my route, heard that the road went all round the world, or that it went all through the island, that it went from sea to sea, that it went " from sea-port to sea-port."
Well regardless of the 'Truth' (see misc.), it was obviously a long distance route in the tales of the people living by it, so I don't know what that means.

Scraps of Folklore Collected by John Philipps Emslie
C. S. Burne
Folklore, Vol. 26, No. 2 (Jun. 30, 1915), pp. 153-170
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
2nd July 2008ce
Edited 2nd July 2008ce

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