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July 2021

Freedom!

Social Distancing Project 239

 

The Distance Project 33

It was Freedom Day, Monday the 19th. I went to Central Milton Keynes to see what was happening; would everybody be maskless?

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The Wanderer is Out

Folks, I'm taking some time off. I've been getting more and more run down so I'm taking a break for a couple of weeks. No, it's nothing to do with Covid!

In the meantime, please take a look at the archives; there are over 260 posts here and there may be something you've missed. I'll see you again around the beginning of August.

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Church Cross

St Mary's church  Ivinghoe

The Monday Photo

Here’s a photo I couldn’t fit into the Secrets of Ivinghoe post, a couple of weeks ago. This is St. Mary’s, built as an early 13th Century cruciform church with a central tower.

To the left of the photo is the North transept, to the right are the clerestory windows high on the North side of the nave, and one of the North aisle windows below. The nave, tower, and aisle were all rebuilt in the 14th Century. The porch is 19th Century.

I’m looking forward to being able to look inside churches again, and I’ll be featuring some of them on the North Bucks Wanderer.

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Secrets of around Ivinghoe.

Ford End watermill  near IvinghoeFord End Watermill

The Icknield Way hits an important spot at Ivinghoe, where it divides to become the Upper and Lower Icknield Way. The Upper Way goes along the top of the Chilterns, the Lower Way along the foot.

The Icknield Way is ancient, though there’s some debate at exactly how old it is. What’s certain is that the area around Ivinghoe is rich in history. Here are just some of the places you can visit that are close to the town.

This post follows last week’s Secrets of Ivinghoe guided walk post. As ever, more details at the links.

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Post Round

Nether Winchendon church and postbox

The Monday Photo

Here are two listed buildings for the price of one! The parish church of St. Nicholas in Nether (sometimes called Lower) Winchendon is 13th Century and Grade 1, but this stone pillar with a Victorian postbox is 20th Century and Grade 2. The pillar is what we are looking at today.

The pillar was designed by the noted architect Philip Tilden, probably while he was handling the restoration of the village’s ancient Nether Winchendon House.

It was erected in the middle of the village in the 1920s, on a grass triangle in the middle of the road junction. Older photos don’t show a postbox on the triangle, but old maps seem to show a postbox on the edge of the junction, perhaps where this postbox previously sat.

This postbox dates from about 1861, and is cast iron. It was made by Smith & Hawkes of Birmingham, and their name is cast into the bottom of the box. Boxes like this are long lasting and still fairly common.

Next time you post a letter, take a look at the postbox; letters on the box will tell you under which monarch the box was installed. There’s usually a crown; either between the letters or above them. The R either stands for Regina (Queens), or Rex (Kings).

These are the letters you’ll see on postboxes, and the dates those monarch reigned, although the first boxes under Queen Victoria were not installed until 1853. Edward VIII boxes are very rare because he reigned for less than a year, and I’ve heard there’s just one example of those boxes in North Bucks.

VR                  1837 to 1901            Victoria 

ER VII            1901 to 1910            Edward VII

GR                  1910 to 1936            George V

ER VIII           1936 only                Edward VII

GR VII            1936 to 1952           George VI

ER II               1952 to date           Elizabeth II

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Secrets of Ivinghoe.

Medieval house  IvinghoeA Medieval house lies behind this more modern seeming brickwork. This is 12 and 14 Station Road.

This is Ivinghoe, a small town at the foot of the Chilterns and the location of today’s Secrets of… Walk. The total length of this walk is three quarters of a mile, and you can park in the High Street by the Town Hall, or on Station Road opposite The King’s Head. In Station Road at least, there are no time limits or charges.

Station Road

Your first stop is 12 and 14 Station Road, just down from the pub. This building is far older than it appears, having been built in the late 13th or early 14th Century as an aisled hall. Inside it would have originally been open to the roof; only later was a first floor installed.

There was no chimney until the central stack was inserted in the 16th Century, and the building was either encased or perhaps replaced with brick in the 17th Century.

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