Walk 4 Diseases and cures
A popular circular walk, but with a twist. The walk leader, with a medical background, will explain how diseases have afflicted the local population over centuries. The walk heads off to Hailes, then Farmcote to explore the medieval scourges of leprosy, smallpox, scrofula and Black Death. Discover the probable site of a village plague pit and learn about the local contribution to smallpox vaccination. Then on to St Kenelm’s Well, source of the first pure water for Winchcombe and important for combating cholera. We pass Sudeley Hill Farm before reaching Sudeley Castle, with local reference to consumption, childhood infections, puerperal fever and the great influenza pandemic, along with their tragic personal consequences.
At Sudeley Castle there is an opportunity to visit the physic garden. Lady Ashcombe led on the project, researching the vast knowledge of herbal healing from many different cultures, stretching back in recorded history over 4,000 years. The Tudors & Elizabethans would have had a productive physic garden at Sudeley to provide the household with culinary and medicinal plants. Herbs remained necessary and popular throughout the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries until they were pushed aside by the advances in medical science and the evolution of synthetic substitutes. Today the interest in natural remedies has been steadily re-emerging and Sudeley’s gardening team enjoy including a range of traditional plants in the garden. Bring a picnic lunch.