An ancient Lincolnshire pathway believed to have been used by the Knights Templar is at the centre of a community row.
Residents living along the path have been accused of turning away horses and verbally abusing people trying to use the bridleway, believed to be 1,000 years old.
Now county councillors have been asked to step in and secure public access to the lane, between Eagle Barnsdale, near Swinderby, and the A46 south of Lincoln.
A ‘private road – access only’ sign has been erected at the entrance to the lane, which runs between Tunman Farm off Southern Lane and the ancient Fosse Way.
In a letter to Lincolnshire County Council, parish members have complained that those trying to walk or ride down it have been “experiencing aggression and hostility”.
Ernie Cater (74), who lives at Tunman Farm, said that research carried-out on behalf of the villagers had proven that the route was used by the Knights Templar – an order of soldier-monks founded in 1118.
Shirley Nicholson of Tunman Cottage admits her family put up the sign but strongly denied that horseriders and walkers were being intimidated or turned away.
“My late husband put the sign up to stop vehicles coming down here because it was damaging the path and we are responsible for maintaining it,” she said.
Her daughter Eileen Northcott, who also lives on the bridleway, said: “We’ve never stopped or been aggressive to horseriders or walkers. These allegations just aren’t true.”