Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Widbrook Common and Sutton Road.

We have discussed the gatekeeper's cottage on Widbrook common in the last blog. Now we move on to the road, and the Common itself and, the changes that were made in the past, or a little over 100 years.
During the Middle Ages, and after the middle 1800's, the road would have been little or no more than a farm track, with little or no maintenance whatsoever, with the event of more regular vehicle traffic in the form of wagons and coaches, and even stagecoaches. The need was to improve the surface, with the application of gravel.

The picture above is a fairly good example of how the road looked as it went through the stream at Widbrook. As many stories exist, that farm horses were often asked to assist in pulling wagons and coaches out of the mud, when they gone off track from the hard-core bottom of the water splash.

The picture above is an example of what towards the end of the 18th century would have looked like. A surface like this would have been found in Cookham village High Street. Surrounding lanes and byways would have been however of a poorer quality, even to Sutton Road.

The picture above is my interpretation of what the Widbrook common water splash would have looked like. Take note that the waterway was kept free and clear of weeds, so clean. In fact, that one could fish for Roach, Pope, Gudgeon and Dace, and even freshwater Crayfish could be found I am told.

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