On September 6th, 2014, the latest history walking trail in Telford will be officially opened. The Lawley and Overdale Trail, a 2 year project spearheaded by Lawley and Overdale Parish Council, will see fruition of phase one with the launch of a 7 mile loop route through the Parish linking thirty five points of interest.
The route utilizes established public rights of way, footpaths and cycle paths – many of which are maintained by the Parish Environmental Team; part of an ongoing Footpath Improvement Scheme. The self guided trail – as the Parish Council has produced a free 44 page Trail Guide to accompany the walk, commences in Lawley Square divided into six sections linking Lawley, Newdale, Overdale, The Rock, Old Park, Dawley Bank, Lawley Bank and Lawley Common. The route has been planned in a way to ensure walkers, cyclists and disabled can enjoy all aspects of the Parish. Part of the route incorporates the existing Ironbridge Way and Reynolds Way.
Contributions ranging from historical documents to photographs to create the Trail Guide have come from several sources notably Parishioners interested in local history. Assistance has also been provided from Shropshire Archives, Lichfield Archive, Homes & Community Agency, Ironbridge Gorge Trust and the Shropshire Star. Funding for the project was provided not only by the Parish Council but obtained from the Your Money, Your Projects scheme by Telford and Wrekin Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund; the latter to develop a website to accompany the Trail as part of Phase Two.
Among the Trail highlights is the Grade 2 listed Tram Bridge in Newdale; St John’s Church Lawley, Rock Chapel and Lawley House, Village Drive; which was restored in May 2013 supported by the Parish Council. The Trail also includes lost treasures such as an insight into Abraham Darby’s Newdale Village and the Rock Colliery.
The Trail will be opened on Saturday 6th September, 2014 by David Wright MP and Vice Chairman, Cllr Darren Blackburn. Copy of the Trail Guide will be available from the Parish Office as well at Archives and Libraries.