A1-The Great North Road

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Buntingford

Buntingford does not appear in the Doomsday Book and is first recorded in 1185 as Buntas Ford, and in the ownership of the Knights Templar.  Sited on the cross-roads of the Roman road of Ermine Street (the A 10) and the road from the Pelhams to Baldock and was granted a charter to hold a market in 1253.  The town centre has several 15th century buildings.

As well as being on the Old North Road, Buntingford was also on the London to Cambridge coach road, although an alternative coach road, now the B1368, ran a little to the east through the villages of Hare Street & Barkway.  Some former coaching inns grace these two otherwise small villages.  The first turnpike act, that for a stretch of the Old North Road between Ware and Buntingford was passed in 1662. The George and Dragon Inn was the meeting place of the Trustees of the  Wadesmill Turnpike Trust, and also of the local Justices.

A popular local story tells that Samuel Pepys recorded, in 1663, that he and his wife stayed at the George Inn (or perhaps the Bell), where she became ill after drinking cold beer.  I wonder if she should have stuck to warm beer. Now Buntingford is home to Banfield Ales and the micro Buntingford Brewery Company Try this link too.

 

The town clock is a rare example of a 16th century turret clock with just one hand.  There's another old one-handed clock on the church at Conningsby in Lincolnshire.

 

 

Excavations at Thorley uncovered a multi-period landscape with rich prehistoric and Roman remains, including a Late Bronze Age farmstead and Late Iron Age/early Romano-British mortuary enclosure with cremations and inhumations.

Milestone at Hamels Park, Puckeridge (photo from Johnson)

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Lincolnshire

 

©Biff Vernon 2002