I am going to start this post with a town that is not actually mentioned in the book that I am going through. It was the town that, as was a child this is the town that I went to the dentist in! That isn't the complete reason - but that today is Shrove Tuesday and here, every year on Shrove Tuesday they have a pancake race through the town -
Here is the report about the race - Pancake Race 2007
In 1825 Richard Cox grew the first ever "Cox's Orange Pippin" - which was described as the greatest apple of the age.
In Colnbrook there is also a pub called "The Ostrich", which is listed as both the third oldest pub in England as well as the most haunted pub. King John stayed here on his way to sign The Magna Carter in 1215 and later both Queen Elizabeth 1 and Dick Turpin were among other famous guests. In the 17th Century the pub was owned by Thomas Jarmin who designed an ingenious bed. It was nailed to a trap door above the kitchen. Prosperous single guests were shown to "The Blue Room" and once asleep the door would be unbolted and the guest would fall into a vat of boiling water! The guest's body was then thrown into the local river and their belongings sold. This was discovered when someone was sold a horse belonging to Thomas Cole that kept escaping back to this river ... Cole-Brook ...Colbrook. It is these victims that are the ghosts that are still in the pub.
It was under a Yew Tree in the churchyard that Thomas Grey (1716 - 1771) wrote the now famous "Elegy in a Churchyard".
The only time this Churchyard is seen on film is in "For Your Eyes Only" when James Bond is seen to be visiting his wife's grave.
John Penn, who founded Pennsylvania, built a large house here, that is now the golf club house ... and was used as a location in the film "Goldfinger".
The home of the Aston Martin.
The first Lords of the manor were listed on The Magna Carter. The present Lord of the manor is Viscount Hambleden, a descendant of W.H.Smith (the newsagent).
Hambleden is also the birthplace of Thomas de Cantelpe (1218 - 82) who was the last Englishman to be canonised before the Reformation; and Lord Cardigan (1797 - 1868) who led the charge of the Light Brigade in 1854 and who had the item of woollen clothing (that he had made for him to keep him warm in The Crimea) named afetr him.
Next to each other on the A5 (Watling Street) are 2 ancient inns. The coaches, in the 18th Century would stop here on their way to and from London (and the north). Travellers would be able to swap stories over a drink and a meal. As the ale was good at both inns these stories often got exaggerated. the names of the Inns - The Cock and The Bull. From here we get the phrase "a cock and bull story"!
Roger Crabbe retired here after receiving head injuries during the Civil War. He dressed in sackcloth, lived on turnips and opened a hat shop - The Mad Hatter in "Alice in Wonderland"
There has been a house on the bank of the Thames since 1666, when the Duke of Buckingham built a hunting lodge here. in 1740, while Frederick, Prince of Wales was living here, "Rule Britannia" was performed for the first time.
in 1961 the Secretary for War (John Profumo) met a girl here (Christine Keeler) and they had a brief affair. However in 1963 it was found out that she was also having an affair with someone from the Soviet Embassy - thus The Profumo Affair rocked the nation at the time.
Dorney Court is a beautiful Tudor house near Eton, that has been in the Palmer family's possession since 1537. Barbara Villiers (a favourite mistress of King Charles II) was the wife of Roger Palmer. In 1665 the first ever pineapple was grown here and thus presented to the King.
Mary Shelley (1797 - 1851) wrote "Frankenstein" while living in a cottage here.