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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Churches & Wrest Park

My church list is stagnant and I felt Willen was a bit of cheat so how about a church crawl!

I ought to add that I didn't visit the churches in this order. Willen was the third but it makes more sense to present in this order.

870 St Mary, Willen

Given Willen is part of Milton Keynes I will be honest and say I expected it to be locked but it wasn't ! I get the impression they try to keep it open so I count me impressed. Willen looks to be rather nice I might add!

It was built in 1680 by the Philosopher  Robert Hooke who designed the London Monument.

I told you it was pink :)

Now to get to the next in the sequence and my first of the day I had to drive through Newport Pagnell which I'm probably not alone as thinking of as a service station. I was rather surprised to find it seemed a really nice place!


871 St Peter, Gayhurst

The church is situated just through the gates of the house. There are signs saying that pedestrian access to the church is permitted so I parked just outside and wandered in. I contacted the church through the excellent achurchnear you and the respondent Andrew Turner was ever so helpful so I knew it would be open.

The church was completed in 1728 in the baroque style. Churches built after the reformation have a different feel.  I guess as the church became less ceremonial. Given the church was built by the family in the big house and  is away from the village it also has the feel of a private chapel. The churches masterpiece is the monument to Sir George Wrighte and Son.

Gayhurst House late Elizabethan today it is 14 flats....

Nice group

872 St Lawrence, Chicheley

The church is medieval (although the chancel was rebuilt in 1708) and sits next to Chicheley Hall (built around 1720). Both are away from their village.

The church was locked and there was a sign for keyholders but it also said visitors to the hall could get the key from the reception.... I tried my luck and yes!

The hall is a lovely looking building. It was bought by the Royal Society in 2009 and today is the Kavli Royal Society International Centre as a venue for science seminars and conferences. The Hall is also used by others for corporate and social events.

So with my targets acquired so quickly and as I do it was on my way home I went to Wrest Park.

The gardens are lovely and English Heritage's restoration goes on a pace. That said on a lovely sunny day I didn't go into the house so what has gone inside in the 4 years (!!) since my last visit will wait for another day!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Finchingfield & Audley End

Work tomorrow! So a quick stroll around Finchingfield and Audley to end my holidays.


I was given a 1960's guide book of Audley by my friends Rebecca and Stuart (thanks!) and this illustration shows how big it was. You will recognise the two porches from the current building. The whole of the front courtyard has gone and the back of the rear court yard (behind the porches) it was 4x its current size.