In my last post, I referred to Pomparles Bridge as ‘legendary’ — and so it is. But while that Pomparles Bridge was in the same location, give or take, as the present-day bridge, they are not the same thing. The visitor, misty-eyed and semi-delirious from the effects of Arthurian tales, nerves tingling with the notion of sighting the Lady of the Lake, will be crushingly disappointed with the reality. Read More
It seems you can’t walk anywhere in the West Country without tripping over a stone circle. I came across this one by the A39, when I was walking out of Glastonbury, in the direction of Street. Read More
Glastonbury Tor shifted from prehistory into the kind of history we now called legend when Caradoc of Llancarfan, a Welsh monk, published his Vita Glidae (‘Life of Gildas’) in the early twelfth century. Read More
Down the valley towards Wendover near the Leather Bottle inn, Tam Black, a schoolteacher, used to live for part of the time in a small wooden hut without any modern amenities. The hut is now derelict. Tam is said to have driven a motorised lawn mower to his place of work, a boarding school in Crowthorne, Berkshire. He was an enthusiastic member of the Wendover Fire Brigade in the 1930s when the fireman had first to catch the horses before they could get the manual fire engine to the blaze. Tam’s adventures during the blitz were dramatised by his brother and filmed as The Bells Ring Down with Tommy Trinder playing the part of Tam.
(Dunsmore: People and happenings remembered – Peter Jewell)
Here is a leafy stretch of road between Wendover and Ellesborough, at the north-eastern edge of the Chilterns, what you might call deep Buckinghamshire. And here on the boundary wall of one of the grand houses along this stretch are a pair of t-shirts, or rather t-shirts converted to banners. Read More
Anne Green was a slippery quean,
In vain did the jury detect her —
She cheated Jack Ketch,
And then the vile wretch
‘Scaped the knife of the learned dissector.
(Verse by an anonymous 17C Oxford student)