Many thanks to the National Trust
and in particular to Don Otter the former Area Warden
for permission to place this cache.
About the Area
The Ashridge Estate is owned by the National Trust and is an area of some 5000 acres of beautiful woods, commons and downlands situated in the Chilterns AONB. There are a wide selection of marked trails to explore.
In 1283 a priory was founded within the estate, following the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the priory was surrendered to Henry VIII and it became a private residence of Princess Elizabeth (later to be Elizabeth I). In 1604 the priory and lands passed to the Egerton family and was finally demolished in the mid 18th Century. The Estate was held by the family until 1921 when the lands finally transferred to the NT, whilst the house itself became a college in various forms.
The Bridgewater Monument is a tower rising out of the woods; built in 1823 to the memory of Francis Egerton (3rd Duke of Bridgewater). The “father of inland navigation” commissioned what is widely considered the first ‘true’ canal, the Bridgewater Canal; originally connecting his coal mines in Worsely to Manchester in 1761.
The monument itself is 108 feet/33m high and access to the viewing platform is chargeable for non-NT members (£2.50 in 2018) and subject to opening hours. (NB You don’t need to go to the top for the cache!)
Parking and access is Free of Charge all year, between 6am and 10pm. The NT Visitors Centre is open (Mar – Dec) *update: All year round* and the adjoining tea rooms are open all year. There’s also often an ice cream van floating around the car park.
Whilst you're in the area why not also visit Tim and Jon's 1st Re-stashed (which is an old cache) or Treasure Map Mystery (Puzzle Cache), both are within a short walk's distance. If you fancy a pub afterwards, we’d recommend visiting the nearby picturesque village of Aldbury, where you will find The Valiant Trooper or The Greyhound Inn. Both offer food and a good selection of drinks. (The Trooper is pretty dog friendly)
The above co-ordinates are for a spot by the visitors centre and this is where you start. Parking is adjacent and disabled parking is sign-posted.
The Cache container is a camouflaged Lock n Lock Container containing a Log book, Pen, Laminated Cache Note, (please leave on the top) and a selection of swaps suitable for young and old. To find the cache you will need to take a short circular walk around Meadley's Meadow (Map) and collect some numbers along the way. These will give you the co-ordinates for the micro cache location (don’t worry there’s no ivy involved, this was the original container's hide).
Leave the visitors' centre and follow the path around to N51 48.456 W000 35.511 (Updated again)
A = How many bolt holes are drilled through the Post?
Now follow the path around to N51. 48. 389. W000. 35. 529 (Updated)
B = How many Horizontal bars on the gate?
C = How many Diagonal bars in total are on the gate?
Keep on the pathway and go to N51. 48. 248. W000. 35. 654 (Updated 8/5/13 (& again 15/10/18)
D = Total number of signs on the post, PLUS two. [Formerly times two]
E = Total number of signs on the post which feature a wheeled vehicle of some sort. [Formerly (Total number of nails holding signs which use four nails each) Minus (Total number of nails holding signs which use three nails each)]
F = These signs are fixed with how many nails in total, MINUS 12 [formerly PER SIDE?]
Now go to the Monument (you don't really need the co-ords ) but they are N51. 48. 498. W000. 35. 652
G = How many words in the top line of the inscription?
Now insert the collected numbers into the following formula and go to these coordinates.
N51. 48. A F G.
W000. 35. B D E.
Since the micro seems to have vanished, you are now looking for an item that'll take you to N51 48.KKJ W000 35.JJH, usefully! Both locations are fairly busy so please be discreet when retrieving the cache. Have fun and good luck!
Further Mobility Information
The route is wheelchair friendly however you will require assistance to access and retrieve the hides. Please note the HandiCaching Ratings are likely to be out of date due to required changes to the final location earlier in 2008. Self drive scooters are available Free of Charge Mid March to the end of October (2-5pm) but pre-booking is recommended. Further Information.
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