Sharpenhoe Clappers: what’s in a name?

I wonder how many of the declarations of love carved on the beechwood tree trunks, still hold true today? Anonymous initials, an evocative place name and the ghost of a Celtic tribal chief? It seems fitting that such a place, whilst no longer occupied, still draws visitors who wish also to leave their mark, and a former … Continue reading Sharpenhoe Clappers: what’s in a name?

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No. 132 Piccotts End. A cautionary tale of why it’s not a good idea to smoke in bed.

This Chilterns village has one of the most remarkable stories I have ever heard. And the most sensational 16th century murals in the country. Extremely rare and of national importance, these Pre-Reformation Catholic paintings, were hidden behind a sheet of course hand-woven linen until they were discovered by Arthur Lindley in 1953.

The great Brexit debate

On a recent visit to Belgium, I was both challenged and surprised with what I experienced; a restored heritage village whose retail offer was just a bread vending machine, enjoyed gourmet food, drank Leffe abbey beer, visited a castle haunted by a KKK look-alike ghost, had breakfast with pensioners visiting the many scenes from the famous … Continue reading The great Brexit debate

When a man is tired of London, he should head to Highgate Cemetery

Forget the Taj Mahal, Tutankhamen's Tomb or even Tower Bridge: all grand in their own right, statements of wealth, status, conquest and achievement of the privileged elite and their contribution to society. Head instead to a place that is the ultimate leveller, a place where death insists the great and good spend eternity lying cheek by jowl with the infamous, … Continue reading When a man is tired of London, he should head to Highgate Cemetery

A brilliant cultural tapestry

The more I explore of my local area, the more I understand what it means to live and work here. Like threads in a beautiful hand-woven rug, each strand, all not immediately obvious, inextricably bound together, are woven to make up a brilliant cultural tapestry that is Buckinghamshire and the Chilterns. I was recently invited to … Continue reading A brilliant cultural tapestry

Hellfire On a Hill

The fire had been provided by a portable BBQ, that now lay discarded with accompanying beer bottles under a tree just behind the mausoleum. I am sure Sir Francis Dashwood, creator of all I could see, would have approved of the party, but not the litter. Perhaps I was subconscioulsy drawn to West Wycombe hill that … Continue reading Hellfire On a Hill

Natural History at its Victorian Best.

"Mama, Papa, I'm going to make a museum..." The historic market town of Tring is a busy, growing commuter town within easy reach of London and within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Located on the original Akeman Street - a major Roman road in England that linked Watling Street with the Fosse Way, … Continue reading Natural History at its Victorian Best.