April 22nd, 2019


We needed to fiddle with the sat-nav and there was a steeple coming up on the left so we pulled off the A1 into a town that turned out to be Buckden.

Which is in the county that used to be Huntingdonshire but has since been absorbed into Cambridgeshire. Simon Jenkins- who is my guide in the matter of splendid churches- says the locals still think of it as Huntingdonshire so he does too- and gives the ghostly county its own section in his book. The bashing about of our historic counties- undertaken in the 1970s for the convenience of administrators- was an act of cultural vandalism I would love to see reversed.

Anyway, Buckden is beautiful.

The bishops of Lincoln had a palace there and the parish church benefited accordingly. Jenkins gives it one star out of a possible five- which seems a little parsimonious. Perhaps the sun wasn't shining when he made his visit.

I turned up ten minutes before the start of a Good Friday service and my style was cramped by my moves being watched and timed. I should have liked to have taken multiple photographs of the elongated musician angels in the roof- but didn't feel the vicar and gathering congregation would have loved me if I did.

This very angry little person is situated on the right hand side of the magnificent south porch.

The bishops palace is now a Roman Catholic retreat house. The two buildings- Tudor brick and late medieval stone- look very well together.


As I swept the path into the kitchen garden my shoulder brushed the beech hedge that borders it and left a trail of dead leaves in my wake- so I gave up.

There was a dead thrush on the path. It showed no sign of injury. Birds don't usually give up the ghost in plain sight. Might it have had a heart attack?

I forget we have rhubarb until I actually see the clump. This morning I picked some.

I transplanted a birch sapling from the field to the bed which- until Matthew went through it like the Golden Horde- was full of overgrown currants and raspberry canes. I've no idea if it will take, but there's nothing lost if it doesn't- and that bit of ground needs to acquire purpose.