Villages

Secrets of Quainton

Quainton's cap millThe cap and fantail of Quainton's windmill.

The Green

Quainton is very well known for its many half timbered buildings. I can’t tell you about you about all of them, but when you see them around the village, just assume they are 17th Century; you’ll almost always be right.

This walk is three quarters of a mile long mile, or a mile and a half if you choose to do the long version with the views. You can usually park on the Green (See the map), and this walk starts on the lowest point of the triangular grass part of the Green.

At your feet is a manhole. It’s not very old, but it’s where one of a system of village pumps once stood. If you listen carefully, you may be able to hear running water. The pump on this spot was the second one in line; you’ll find the first one on Church Street.

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Secrets of Oving

Oving Hill  BucksOving Hill and Ammonite (squatter's) Cottage. You can see North Marston at the foot of the hill.

A "Secrets Of" Guided Walk

The village of Oving sits high on a hill above Aylesbury Vale. There’s a Roman road, two squatter’s cottages, and amazing views.

In this walk there’s a couple of sections you can choose not to take, but you’ll miss out on the views if you do. The whole walk is just over two miles, but without the two sections (see map) it’s under a mile.

There’s parking to the left of the early 17th Century Black Boy pub. From there, walk back past the pub to the junction.

On the right of the pub is a lane that leads to the Hossil, or horse hole; a pond that’s said never to dry up or freeze.

The Hossil is just a pond, but it’s fed by at least one of the springs on the hill top. Oving stands on the edge of two watersheds. To the North, water runs into the Wash via the Great Ouse. To the South, streams eventually feed the Thames. The springs were used until mains water came to the village in 1939.

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Milton Keynes is Just a Village

First World War memorialAt the bottom of the war memorial are the usual crosses and a wreath, but there’s pebbles painted with poppies, and for some reason, wooden spoons.

Until the late 60s, if you knew of Milton Keynes at all, you’d probably be a local. Before then it was just a tiny village on a side road three miles from Newport Pagnell, but with the passing of an Act of Parliament in 1967 this began to change.

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Changing Lanes 1

The 1970s to the Early 90s

Our Local roads gradually change over the years, and we soon forget how they used to be. These changes began to affect me when I started riding motorcycles in the 1970s; my first powered vehicles.

Living in Winslow meant I lived right in the middle of the North Bucks Wanderer’s area, though I didn’t know it at the time! Here’s just a few of the changes that have happened in North Bucks, from the 1970s to the early 90s.

 

Little Brickhill  BucksLittle Brickhill.

At first I rode a moped, but then I bought a much quicker 200cc Yamaha; I would go out on it just for the pleasure of riding. One favourite route took me North East from Winslow, across to Woburn and the woods. Even then I preferred the back roads, and saw little traffic until I reached Little Brickhill and the A5.

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The Distance Project 21

Social Distancing Project 173The three boys inspect the first display. No sweets at this one, but they liked this creepy figure of a builder.

Trick or Treat

This American tradition has taken off in the UK in a big way, and no wonder when there’s free sweets. But how could it go on this year under social distancing rules? This is how Little Horwood did it.

The village arranged things in advance. Householders put out pumpkins and other spooky decorations, and where they were, there was a good chance of sweets too. Children could tour the village looking for booty, but there would be no knocking on doors. Householders would stay inside and not meet the children.

I turned up just as dusk approached, and found three young brothers and their parents who were just about to tour the village. They let me follow them round.

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The Maid’s Church

St Edmunds  Maids Moreton

The Monday Photo

Why is this village, just North of Buckingham, known as Maids Moreton? It used to just be called Moreton, and it’s all to do with the church, completely rebuilt around the middle of the 15th Century.

Two sisters, the Maids, paid for the rebuilding work, and so the name of the village changed.

Some say the sisters were daughters of the Pevre family, but others say they could have been Alice and Edith de Moreton, who held part of the manor from 1393 to 1421.

The church was built in the perpendicular style, where advances in design meant that the windows could be made very large without compromising the strength of the walls. This means that St Edmund’s is a bright and airy church.

Another church built in this fine style is at Hillesden.

St Edmund’s was rebuilt around 1450, and I think this would be the completion date; it would have been a long process when everything was done by hand. It’s quite a large church for such a small village.

The chancel was first to be rebuilt, and we think this because there are clues in the way the stonework is jointed between the chancel and the nave.

The West doorway, at the bottom of the picture, is thought to be unique with its elaborate canopy supported by fan vaulting.

The big perpendicular window above has remnants of the original glass. Those long tall recesses with the louvres for the bells at the top are also unique.

This church is close to being unchanged since the 15th century. Perhaps that’s why although village churches are nearly all Grade 2 listed, this one is proudly listed Grade 1.

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