Langham in Rutland
Loudall Lane
Loudall Lane lies on the northern boundary of the parish. It is the longest bridleway in the county without gates or obstructions. Local folklore states that it was a drovers’ route, a packhorse saltway, or both.  There is no evidence to uphold, or disprove, the stories. However, it has all the hallmarks of a green lane, thirty foot wide and wider in places for animals to rest for the night, and on seventeenth century maps a settlement of Loudall, now disappeared, is marked.  The track lies roughly in an east-west direction. In the west it starts from the Langham to Melton Mowbray road, then runs eastward across the Langham to Whissendine road, and on through the old Loudall settlement to cross the Langham to Ashwell road. Loudall Lane continues downhill to where its route is cut by the Oakham to Melton Mowbray railway. Tambourine Bridge now spans the railway, enabling the lane to continue unimpeded. It then crosses the Oakham to Ashwell road, passing north of the now closed Ashwell Prison.  The track continues until it meets the Langham to Burley-on-the-Hill road just short of Burley burial ground. [Anthony Wright Chap 9 “The Life and Families of 17th Century Langham”]
Loudall Lane is clearly shown on the 1624 Langham Parish Map, with solid lines showing where there is a boundary and dotted lines to indicate no boundary. The panorama above shows a ridge line with trees, Loudall Lane follows this ridge line. Loudall Lane until September 2011 was one of the most beautiful walks in the county having a wide diversity of flora and fauna. Rutland County Council requested the relatively new land owner to trim back the foliage to make access easier for horse riders. However this resulted in the removal of a mediaeval bank, hedging and trees; the ploughing out and levelling of the track removing much of the diversity of grass and plants which in the past made the lane passable on foot throughout the year; the erection of a new wooden fence covered with two layers of wire which terminate well below ground level make it a completely no go area for the local fauna; the newly erected fence is positioned well inside the original Public Right of Way. The fence is topped with a single strand of barbed wire making it a very dangerous boundary for the local deer, horse riders and walkers (The wire is at eye level). The land owner responsible for the works discussed above went on to grub out and burn the ancient hedgerow for a substantial distance along the boundary of his property and the lane. This, in direct contravention of planning law, resulted in Rutland County Council at its meeting held on Tuesday 3rd April 2012, taking a decision to gather full evidence. The resulting document was presented at the May 2012 meeting to assist councillors in making a decision on how to proceed. It would have been encouraging to think that this might lead to the removal of the newly erected fence to its correct line, rather than condoning its current encroachment onto a Public Right of Way. Its replacement be more appropriate in size and type than that recently erected to blend in with the beautiful environment.  A new hedgerow be planted containing a diverse species of native plants, and mature trees to ensure a rapid re-establishment of flora to support the many displaced bird species. The road bed be remade by a specialist contractor to leave a surface that has the diversity of grasses and plants of its original and at the same time is passable on foot all year round. What happened, very little, the fence still encroaches and the track bed becomes impassable to foot and horse traffic when wet. You can view past and present photographs of the lane click here
Loudall Lane
Langham in Rutland