If you take a map of Buckinghamshire and look a few miles south of the old county town, between it and the Claydons — that have their memories now for all lovers of English letters — you will find a name that means nothing to you : Hillesden. It is indeed a forgotten place: hipped up there on its little hill, the fat pastures and flat water-meadows all round it, isolated from any main roads, with only one road winding up to it: a dead end. And yet it was far from being that in its heyday; only its heyday was three centuries ago, the time of the Civil War, which left such a mark upon it and on the lives of all that lived there. Now, hardly anyone; just a cottage or two, a church, a farm, where once was all the bustle, the coming to and fro of a great house, with the family, important, numerous, ramifying in every direction, affecting the life of this countryside. Now all vanished and gone; where the house stood but an open space in the fields, the fields revealing under the grass the slopes of the former terraces.
KeywordsEnglish Letter County Town Medieval Craftsman Neighbour Reply Sack Cloth
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