Friday, 21 June 2013

Photoblog Winslow

I am driven to be kind. Saving you petrol money and probably a plane journey to come and see Winslow, Buckinghamshire.

Here it is.

But William was born somewhere here. 
William Lowndes, son of Robert and Elizabeth, who travelled to London to seek his fortune.
 He became secretary to the Treasury, whipped the Bank of England into shape, 
and helped bring in the National Debt in order to pay for wars with France.
George Osborne can blame him for the mess we're in. It's all the fault of William Lowndes of Winslow. 

Winslow is the sort of small market town in England where, if we are honest, not much has happened.

In fact, the most exciting event could be King Offa handing over the entire lands of a couple of peasants and a pig, to the monastery in St Albans in 792.

Then there was the opening of a shop on the main road selling witch stuff. She sells pentangles and fairy dust.

And the Church! St Laurence Church. 
Apparently Laurence was tied to an iron grill over a fire and slowly roasted to death; 
a fate dealt to him after giving the Prefect of Rome a bit of lip in 258.

Oh yes! Winslow also boasts one of the hidden buildings of England. Properly it belongs in a curiosity book on the secret places squirreled along England's ancient highways and byways; places you would never find in any normal guide book. The keys are held at the estate agents, so don't forget to return them.

Keach's Meeting House. Seventeenth century Baptist chapel, and secret place for dissenters, the illegals of the time. 
Keach became a baptist preacher at Winslow, but he was bigger than the town (which in 1688 was not two peasants and a pig), 
so the church gave him Southwark instead. But they built and named this chapel after him. Nice.

The church, by the way, holds cloth from the coronation of George VI, 1936. I bet I am making a cloth historian happy now.

What else? Hmmm. There's the Lowndes manor house, which is private and we can't tour. Not apparently, like the good old days. With unnerving ability to home in on historic locations of England, I park the bashed up Grit mobile in front of it by accident.

We find pub history here too; pillory lane; wooden posts from the medieval market square; and bricks. Lots of bricks. The size of which matters at various times in England thanks to the brick tax of 1784.

Sadly, we can't blame Lowndes for that. He brought in the window tax instead.

That could be it for Winslow, although I should just mention the day truly belongs to our Blue Badger, a lady our home ed group regularly hires to tell us secrets about our own localities. She is wonderfully unruffled by everything home ed. Including the lovely Fizz, who arrives barefoot and painted in red soil.

Winslow. I can happily recommend it, if you are passing through. But probably not requiring a plane journey or an urgent drive along the M1.


Irene said...

Thank you for that insightful look into a place I will probably never visit. What made you and the home ed group do it? Was it an honest to goodness mistake?

Grit said...

no mistake, irene! the lure of local history makes us do it, better to know the places we live; better to know the bigger picture. xx