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Swanbourne (2)

The pretty village of Swanbourne (SP 7927) is on a busy drovers’ route:  to the south-west is the A413 from Buckingham to Aylesbury & London; to the east is the Stewkley Lane to Leighton Buzzard (and Barnet).


I went there to give a talk, got a tremendous welcome and loads of information – look up the Swanbourne History website & you’ll see how keen they are.  The first thing they showed me was the “Games Room” at the old Boot Inn (#1) at Smithfield End1 – bit of a hint there.  It was my first sight of an old barn with a chimney – not all that visible in #1, but it’s there – so the lead drover could sleep without freezing.


And going S-W from Smithfield End towards the 413 is Avey/Avery/Hay Way Lane (see Neptune article for an early map of it).  It starts wide (#2) then gets ridiculous (#3) so herds could pass or rest.   


Meanwhile, at the diagonally opposite end of the village is Nearton End, from where you can walk the Stewkley Lane (#4,5).. **


Swanbourne’s got the lot.  And it’s unspoilt.

**Addition, July 2020

We have just been alerted to the fact that, if you follow the footpath from Swanbourne's Nearton End SSE to Hoggeston, you will be on the "Welsh Lane". 

That great drovers' highway is proud and easy to follow southwards from Kenilworth, going through Cubbington, Offchurch, Southam, Priors Hardwick, Culworth, Syresham and on towards Buckingham.  Just before the town, however, it vanishes.  The last you see of it is at Bufflers Holt...

However, the Buckingham Advertiser of Sept. 21st 1929 has an article asserting that the Welsh Lane reappears in Swanbourne and (proudly) takes you on to Hoggeston, Dunton, Cublington, Aston Abbotts, Wingrave and Long Marston before stopping for a rest at Cow Roast - see article - just south of Tring.

True to form, the WL goes through some of the loneliest. most precious parts of the county...

1 It’s on the N-W edge of the village, closest to the A413.  Which makes sense.

Swanbourne (2) image 1
"Games Room" at the Boot
Swanbourne (2) image 2
Avey Lane (1)
Swanbourne (2) image 3
Avey Lane (2)
Swanbourne (2) image 4
Stewkley Lane (1)
Swanbourne (2) image 5
Stewkley Lane (2)