In May the Group went for a walking tour of the historic buildings in Dunchurch. This walk was researched and led, as usual for the “May history walk”, by Mike Johnson (photo shows group starting out on the walk). A brief summary of the buildings seen on the walk is given below.
The Group now has a summer break and the next meeting will be in the village hall on Monday October 31st. More details about this and the rest of the new programme will be publicised nearer the time.
Mike started the walk at the Green Man, which, in the days of stagecoaches, was one of Dunchurch’s many coaching inns. Dunchurch was on the routes between London and many other locations such as Holyhead (for Ireland), Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester.
What is now “Guy Fawkes House” (somewhat of a misnomer) was once the Red Lion coaching Inn. It was here that some of Guy Fawkes’ fellow conspirators awaited news of the Gunpowder Plot, with the intension of then going to Coombe Abbey and seizing the Princess Elizabeth and proclaim her as the new monarch.
In 1707 a trust was founded to build a school which was free for local children.
Alms Houses seen today date from 1880 with an extension added in 1949.
The statue at the cross-roads is that of Lord John Scott, second son of the Duke of Buccleugh and Lord of the manor of Dunchurch. He was born in 1809 and died in 1860. His statue is decorated every Christmas with various costumes.
The Old Forge is the oldest property in the village. It is believed to have been the subject of Longfellows’ poem “The Village Blacksmith” (Under a spreading chestnut tree / The village smithy stands / …)
The original Market Cross was replaced by a sign post in 1813.