The High Road or the Low Road: Which Way?
The Sun Oak on the Horsham Road near Mannings Heath, West Sussex. The tree is pollarded and is on the route from Horsham to East Grinstead. TQ 2030. Apart from their legacy of trees and bridle-ways, there are their place names which are littered about the countryside. Names like Cowley, Oxenbourne, Cowdown, Blacklands, Bullbeggars, Five Oaks, Tanyard Copse, Pound Common, Butcher's Copse, Beggars Oak, Tanyard Farm, Burnt Oak and of course Little London, to name just a few.
With the aid of the early ordnance survey maps and todays information from the Explorer Maps superimposed, it is possible to trace the local routes of drovers, and then follow their "ways"
Drovers route in Bedfordshire from Leighton Buzzard, Eggington and Hockliffe in the West, to Hitchin, Hertford and Harlow in the East. TL 011263. The route from Leighton Buzzard and Bull Farm at Hockliffe in Bedfordshire in the west; to Hitchin, Hertford, and Harlow in the east is a good example of roads falling into decline following the demise of the Welsh drover. Todays ordnance survey map (TL 011263) shows the original road: with the first part now graded as a secondary road, then becoming an un-adopted track, with the final section now reduced to a bridle-way!
A Farmers Life by John Smith 1922.
www.maidenheadcivicsoc.org.uk (news/news letters/2003)(Michael Bayley)
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