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Years ago I had a letter from Pat Cunningham, from Longwick, near Princes Risborough.  She was certain that drovers went through the village and showed me some splendid old photos.



Well, of course they went through Longwick; then up to Whiteleaf Cross, Great Missenden and on to the A413 to London.  The Cross was in a dowdy condition when I saw it, but I’ve cheated in #1 and found a healthier-looking version.  It could have been a waymarker for drovers or Civil War soldiers, a celebration of victory or religious fervour, or else just a bit of doodling on a big canvas.  No one seems to know.



Pat’s Longwick pictures are great: #2, “Ze Olde Orchard and Pounde”, is an interesting clue to pronunciation 100 years ago.  Perhaps stereotypes like Rambling Sid Rumbold weren’t that far off the mark?  The pound was for sick and lost animals, which could be redeemed via the village constable.  The house is still there, but unrecognisable.



#3, the delightful (if you weren’t paying up) tollhouse, has been demolished.  #4 is one of those Edwardian snaps one sees so often, when a whole community – including possibly the vicar here – seems to freeze for the camera.   



#5 is Sportsman’s Corner.  The building facing us on the left was called “The Sportsman’s Arms”, which I assumed to be an old inn and informed a meeting of Chiltern enthusiasts that it was.  Especially because of the pine trees.  I thought  I may have lied because it is not mentioned as a pub on the National Library of Scotland’s reproduction of the 1890 6” map, but Andrew Mullis has informed me it existed.  Since then we have traced it back to 1873 but it was probably earlier.  Don't search for it: the lot has been demolished and there is now a Shell filling station on the crossroads.


While in Longwick I had a splendid walk from Owlswick to Towersey via Ilmer.  Please read on…

Longwick image 1
Whiteleaf +
Longwick image 2
Ze Olde Pounde
Longwick image 3
Old Toll Cottage
Longwick image 4
The Vicar (?) et al.
Longwick image 5
Sportmans Corner