Sunday, 28 August 2011
Barrington - The Village On The Green.
Prospective buyers of the Dream Cottage advertised in Saturday's post will want to know something of the neighbourhood. It's situated in the Cambridgeshire village of Barrington, just a few miles south of the city of Cambridge. Villages in this part of the world are usually thought of as neat rows of houses situated around a village green. The reality is often quite different but in Barrington the ideal has been carried to extremes.
The green in Barrington is enormous. An area of grass over half a mile long and two hundred yards wide, smack in the middle of the village. It easily accommodates a cricket field and a soccer pitch. It was even bigger at one time as parts of it have been built on.
At the western end of the green stands the village pub, The Royal Oak, which dates from the 16th century. It's a grand place to sit outside with a pint on a summer's evening.
It's difficult to understand why the village needed such a huge green. It's thought that it was used to bring the livestock in at night and during the harshest winter months, but other villages seem to have got by with less grassland in their midst. Nowadays it may look idyllic but it takes a lot of mowing and must be very inconvenient for anyone with mobility problems.
The house in the picture above looks as pretty as any, despite not having a thatched roof. In fact, behind its white painted walls lies a house dating from the fourteenth century, probably built by a wealthy farmer of the day.
Village life used to centre around the village pump but now has moved across the road to the local shop.
Brick can look attractive too.
These two cottages, built so close together, always look as though they are conspiring about something, one whispering in the ear of the other. And at the far end of the green stands a very fine church.