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Our walk begins at the Church. What you see has remained largely unchanged since the reformation over 400 years ago. It is the largest church in South Nottinghamshire and work is believed to have commenced around 1346.

Inside the church at the western end of the north isle is a memorial to Sir Thomas Parkyns (1662-1741). Sir Thomas designed it himself and had it built during his own lifetime. The life size effigy in the left hand panel shows Sir Thomas in a wrestling stance. In the right hand panel he is shown ‘thrown’ by old father time. As well as being a wrestling fanatic, Sir Thomas was a magistrate, author, scholar and architect. In his latter capacity he has left his stamp on the village for most of the older buildings in Bunny apart from the church were designed by him.

Leave the church by the south door opposite a large old farmhouse and take the path through the churchyard to the right.

Through the gate turn left and immediately right down Main Street.

A short way down the street on the left, close behind a hedge is a typical early Parkyns house of warm red brick with the original stone mullioned windows.

Notice too the built up gable ends of idiosyncratic design. Similar houses can be seen, not only in Bunny, but also in Bradmore, Ruddington and elsewhere.


The rest of the houses in the street are a mixture of old and new, with some attractive cottages on the right towards the end, probably built in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Stop for a minute at the stile at the end of the street and look out over the flat fields which were once a fen.

These are known as the Moors, and the curious name Bunny means ‘a reedy island’. Although so low lying, Bunny is built on gravel and is well drained.

The Moors are drained by Fairham brook which can be reached by taking the footpath diagonally to the left. There is a bridge across the brook which leads onto Gotham Lane or alongside the brook towards Gotham.

The brook was much wider and navigable in Roman times than it is today.

Take the footpath to the right alongside the fence. The path turns past a white house and ends at the end of Moor Lane. Please take care not to walk on the farmers crop.

The occupation roads from here are all public footpaths and may be used by walkers. Straight on goes to Bradmore, left goes to Gotham, and near the footbridge a mile down here you might be lucky enough to see a Heron or even a Kingfisher. Most of the nearby fields are arable land. There is little grassland in Bunny.

Turn right up Moor Lane.
Here as the road curves to the right are some attractive cottages and farmhouses. Looking back you will see the one on the right bears the date 1703.


The big house on the left opposite the pollarded Lime trees is the old Vicarage, and the large house on the right is the Grange. The road off to the right Moor View leads to some new houses built on the old farmyards.

 

Bear round to the left onto Church Street, and with the church on the right, past a white painted old cottage and barn dated 1686 on your left.

 

Back from the road on the left behind the new village green is the present village school.

Almost opposite on the right is its Victorian predecessor now used as the village hall.
On the corner on the left is another large Parkyns building.

Across the road over the wall you can see part of Bunny Hall (1723) especially the tower, which has a curious design and bears an enormous stone coat of arms.

Walk to the left up the main road. The white washed house on the right is on of the hall lodges and behind it are some large converted stable blocks. At one time the main road ran between these buildings.

A little further on the right you can see part of the walled nursery gardens. The main road here crosses an old common field and on both sides you can see the ridge and furrow of mediaeval ploughing. Further away you can see Bradmore on its hill.

 

Turn back down the main road to the corner again.

Straight ahead at the narrowest part of the road is the third of Bunny’s schools, the original grammar school built by Parkyns in 1700. It has a pleasing symmetry and is the most aesthetically satisfying of all Parkyns buildings.

Stop on the far side by the church gate and examine the coat of arms and Latin inscription. The schoolroom is now a men’s institute and the rest of the building is divided into two flats owned by the Bunny charity.

Across the road is the Rancliffe Arms, rebuilt by Parkyns but with later additions.

At one time it was a coaching inn on the main Nottingham to London turnpike road. Horses from it would have been fresh to tackle the notoriously steep Bunny Hill, just to the south.

The farmhouse now standing in the car park has a large false dovecote on its west wall.

If you feel like a longer walk, stroll on down the main road past the garage and turn left down the narrow lane towards Wysall.

Ahead is a pleasant walk beside the Fairham brook.

On the left you will see the park wall built by Parkyns for over £5,000 and over two miles long. If you walk around the perimeter you will see an old entrance to the estate with Pineapples on the gateposts.

More energetic still is the path up to the ancient Bunny wood. The style on the right leads past the old Gypsum mine into the woods that are noted for their springtime bluebells.

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