The Monday Photo
If you stand in the Market Square in Buckingham and look up at the town hall, you’ll see this fine swan, made from painted copper. It’s on the bell turret at the top of the building.
The bell turret is lead covered oak; the clock face added in 1882.
This swan is also a weathervane, and if you go to Buckingham you’ll probably find it’s pointing in a different direction when compared to this photo.
In 1996 the swan underwent restoration; in this photo I took from ground level with a long lens, it still looks good.
You probably know that the swan is a big part of the coat of arms of Buckingham and of Buckinghamshire, and also features on the county flag.
Buckingham’s town hall was built in 1783, replacing another one less than a hundred years old which had got into a very poor state.
The new building incorporates a staircase from the 1685 town hall, which had been positioned a bit further North than the present one.
The roof on the right hand end of the town hall oversails the wall below by a long way, because Castle street was widened by cutting back the North end of the building. Castle Street is the road to Chipping Norton, Bicester, and Oxford.
This road widening was completed before 1925, but probably after powered vehicles were becoming more common. I’d guess it was in the first quarter of the 20th Century. In 1903 at Winslow a house was cut in half to widen the road.