Monday, June 08, 2009

Great Godmanchester

Herbie award winning blog commenter Vally P says she hadn't heard of Godmanchester. I don't suppose all that many people have, but its a real gem. Just half a mile from Huntingdon, it easily outshines its larger and more famous neighbour.

For a start it has very good boat moorings, close to the heart of the village. But much more important it is stuffed superbly preserved houses dating from the 16th century onwards. This is no chocolate box village preserved in aspic, the old houses sit naturally alongside newer ones. There are virtually no antique or touristy shops.

It is a real place, and I guess was very important in tudor times and must have continued to prosper long afterwards judging by the dutch style merchant houses dotted about. Come to think of it I would imagine it isn't cheap to live there now.

Across the lock lies Portholme meadow, reputed to be the largest water meadow in England and I can well believe it.
The 257 acres of hay grass and wild flowers become flooded most winters. We're not experts on wild flowers but with the aid of a book we identified a few, notably greater dandelion (very big) and yellow rattle.

Go there if you can and allow half a day to explore.


VallyP said...

Ah Neil, thank you! These photos are lovely and you are right, it's a picture in itself. Wonderful that you had the natural wetland meadows to walk through to. Wild flowers are so much more abundant in such areas.

Halfie said...

Ah, Godmanchester! The Chinese Bridge! When I was young Godmanchester used to be a stop-off point on our journey from Essex to Granny's house in Lincolnshire. I loved the Chinese Bridge and the nearby lock with its fascinating guillotine gate.