The village of Shere is several hundred years old. The church dates from the 11th century and several houses date from Tudor times. Ours is new-ish, built in 1635 or so, newer than the first settlements in the New World.
One family has ruled over Shere for about 500 years; a Bray was granted the land around here in the 15th c. They still own many houses in the village, which you identify by their green doors and window frames, and with that ownership comes responsibility. The current lord of the manor, who is a woman, takes that ownership seriously, providing up-keep for tenants, attending all the parish council meetings, opening ceremonies and generally keeping her hand in.
Just now, early in the morning, a huge crane sits outside our house. An old foot bridge crosses over our street a few feet east of us, which has been reinforced with steel girders for nearly as long as we have lived here. Its supports are crumbling, and Health and Safety have deemed it unsafe. It must be replaced by another just like it, because ours is a “listed” village, which means you can’t change much without prolonged discussion and thought by those who try to keep the villages authentic.
I appreciate that, but in this case, the bridge, a replacement of a former one, dates from 1911, hardly ancient in this context. To remove it, which is happening as we speak, will already cost 60.000 bps. I don’t yet know the replacement cost, but I am grateful not to be the lord of the manor right now.
- The Frost is on the Pumpkin —
- Another Remembrance Day —