Chesil Beach & the Fleet, Dorset

Chesil Beach & the Fleet, Dorset
Chesil Beach & the Fleet, Dorset

Friday, 23 October 2015

Village and Pub Signs

This new article will be a bit of a slow burner to start with, as I've only just realised that I've been missing a great opportunity to expand on places and their history. This is a random collection of village and inn signs, with an explanation of their meaning and heritage, where possible.

VILLAGE SIGNS

LYMPNE (Kent)
This is the village where I spent my childhood. In fact, my home was just to the left of this sign. Lympne was once a Roman port, and the ruins of Stutfall Castle, the Roman stronghold, still stand just below Lympne Castle. It was known as Portus Lemanis


Winchelsea (East Sussex)
Winchelsea is often described as the smallest town in Britain to have its own Mayor. Although the Mayor and Corporation lost their civil and judicial powers in 1886, the formal structures were preserved by an Act of Parliament in order to maintain the town's membership of the Confederation of Cinque Ports. They retain both a ceremonial role and responsibility for a number of the ancient monuments of the townIn the 11th century five towns in the south east of England, namely Hastings, Romney, Hythe, Dover and Sandwich, banded together in a confederation designed for mutual protection, for coastal defence and for the furtherance of their trade. The King used them in certain ways - a packet boat service - perhaps even as early as the reign of Edward the Confessor, for which they were paid, not in cash but by the granting of certain privileges, most of which had a financial value. The duties and the privileges of the five ports grew with the years and their heyday came in the thirteenth century, by which time the "Ancient Towns" of Winchelsea and Rye had been added to their number. The title "Cinque Ports" remained although there were now seven head ports.The sign depicts the badge of the Cinque Ports Confederation


YALDING (Kent)
The Invicta motto and the white horse is the emblem of Kent. 
To commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, a new village sign was commissioned by Yalding Parish Council. It depicts all that is good about the village of Yalding and the Parish. Family life, the village blacksmith, church, river, medieval bridge and of course Kentish hops, are all there.


Sissinghurst (Kent)
This giant penny farthing was originally erected on the nearby Wilsey Pound roundabout for the Tour de France which travelled through Sissinghurst on 8th July 2007.
The sign depicts Sissinghurst Castle


High Halden (Kent)
The sign depicts the village church of St. Mary


Goudhurst (Kent)
The sign incorporates the Kent invicta (middle top), an oast house (middle bottom) and down the two sides are apples, hops, cherries and pears - to indicate the Garden of England and the many orchards  in the area


Biddenden (Kent)
on the village green stands a most attractive sign, carved and painted by a local crafts man, of a pair of twins, known as the Biddenden Maids.

According to tradition The Biddenden Maids were twin sisters that were born in 1100, joined at the shoulders and hips.
The story describes how Elisa and Mary Chulkhurst who lived in this condition for 34 years, when one of them died.

The other, refusing, or more likely, it being impossible for her to be separated from her sisters body, died shortly afterwards.
Local records show that for over 400 years income gained from 20 acres of land, Believed to have been bequeathed by two sisters, and had been used for the benefit of the poor of the parish.
Once a year Bread and Cheese and are given to local widows and pensioners at the Old Workhouse,
Biddenden Biscuits, baked from flour and water, are distributed among the spectators as souvenirs, They bear an effigy of two female figures whose bodies are joined together at the hips and shoulders.

HAM STREET (Kent)

Orlestone is a small parish, which contains the village of Hamstreet. The parish of Orlestone itself, has almost disappeared, with just a few houses, and a very pretty little church, which lies up a little used lane, just the Ashford side of Hamstreet. Hamstreet was probably originally just the name of the road which ran through Orlestone, but which, over the centuries has become a village in its' own right. Hence the village sign referencing both the village and the original parish.



INN SIGNS


The Cat & Fiddle (Derbyshire)
The Cat & Fiddle is the 2nd highest pub in England, situated between Buxton & Macclesfield in the heart of the Derbyshire Dales and High Peak. It stands at the highest point of the Cat & Fiddle pass, much loved by motorcyclists



Jamaica Inn (Cornwall)
Located just off the A30, near the middle of Bodmin moor close to the hamlet of Bolventor, it was used as a staging post for changing horses. The inn is alleged to be one of the most haunted places in Great Britain. Daphne du Maurier wrote her novel in 1930 when, having gone horse riding on the moors, she became lost in thick fog and sought refuge at the inn. During the time spent recovering from her ordeal, the local rector is said to have entertained her with ghost stories and tales of smuggling; he would later become the inspiration for the enigmatic character of the Vicar of Altarnun, a nearby hamlet.


The Angel (Norfolk)
The Angel at Larling is a 17th. century coaching inn, which stands on a loop of the old A11 road to Norwich. It is now completely bypassed, and stands alone within sight of the new road. Not that I'm biased by it belonging to a friend, Andrew Stammers, but the accommodation and food are hard to beat in any part of the country!

Identifying your place

I have found, during my travels, that many villages have beautiful village signs, relevant to the place or the area.
I have photographed some of them as part of this travel blog, but I'm now resolved to picture many more, and to give them their own section.
Then I thought, with so many pubs and inns closing down, and so many having curious names that are also relevant, it might be a good idea to include some of them before they totally disappear.
I don't mean the modern, stupid ones (e.g The Pitcher And Piano), but those that commemorate an actual event or person.

So I think I've got the spare time.............................