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Buckingham 1


Buckingham, ‘the centre of everything in the middle of nowhere’ as a friend put it, has more roads radiating out of it than a small, unpretentious town should decently have.  One is the A422 from Bufflers Holt coming in from the west, which I will deal with first.

 

Picture #1 shows Willow Cottage, sideways on to the road, where the tollgate was.  Its backside is almost in the River Ouse – no accident: the drovers would find it impossible to escape the toll without crossing the river – without a bridge.  Not worth it.

 

The route follows the left bank of the Ouse as it loops southwards through Fishers Field and then behind the university buildings in Hunter Street.  It crosses the river via a fine bridge (and goes under what is now a finer railway viaduct) before coming to a T-junction.  On the right of the junction is The Mitre, the oldest pub in the town.  (#2)1

 

The area around The Mitre and Bone Hill is known as ‘Little Wales’, so the inn was for drovers.  I strongly recommend the pub: the landlord is interested in its history as well his cellar.  The inn, he says, is in the Speed town map of 1600; the thatched cottage next to it is mentioned in 1425.  

 

The herds turned left at the junction and up the steep Lenborough Road to escape the town.  When this road ends in bollards, the path continues up to the bypass, looking much the same (bar the litter) as it did 200 years ago.  (Pics #3 and #4)  Finding this short stretch of old road in the middle of modern development was a thrill for this old man.  There’s so much surmise involved in droving history that a bit of solid evidence is good for the soul.

 

Then, after crossing the bypass and going round/through an industrial estate, we’re out into the open (#5) looking down on Lenborough Manor Farm.  Destination – Oxlane Bridge, south west of Padbury, and the old road to Aylesbury…

For other routes through Buckingham, see Buckingham 2.

 

1There is said to be a reference to The Mitre in Lark Rise to Candleford – ‘Candleford’ was Flora Thompson’s name for Buckingham in the book – which I have failed to find.  The Mitre is not named, but the description of its porch makes it the only candidate. 

Buckingham 1 image 1
Old Toll Cottage
Buckingham 1 image 2
The Mitre in Little Wales
Buckingham 1 image 3
Lenborough Road Ends Here...
Buckingham 1 image 4
...Or Does It?
Buckingham 1 image 5
View from Lenborough Manor Farm