Visit the church of St Mary’s in Northchurch, Hertfordshire and you will see, on a raised section of the churchyard opposite the south porch, a plain weathered gravestone carved with the inscription, ‘PETER the Wild Boy 1785’
If Edmund Burke was right that the dead are as much a part of Society as the living, then it can be no surprise they are so frequently drawn into the political disputes of our time. There can be no rest for the dead when they must be enlisted or press-ganged to fight the battles of the living.
Wellclose Square is nothing to look at today, dominated as it is by regulation-ugly blocks of council flats, but it was once the smartest address in the East End, the residence of silk traders and sea captains. The square was laid out in 1678 by Christopher Wren as part of his grand design for the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire.
On the face of it, Milton Keynes is a model of rational town planning, built from scratch fifty years ago on twenty-two thousand acres of farmland. Laid out in a North American (or if you prefer, a Roman) grid pattern, it was intend to relieve housing demand in London and embody a new mode of twentieth-century urbanism.