Monday, June 27, 2005

War of the Roses

Spent the morning tramping around in Hadley, the area adjoining Barnet. Hadley Green, which was and is the town commons, was the site of a major battle in the War of the Roses--in 1471, Edward IV defeated Warwick the Kingmaker here. Today, it's just kind of a grassy area divided by the Great Northern Road (the traditional route from London to York) and punctuated by a few muddy ponds. Nothing too spectacular, but rather bucolic, especially considering how developed some of the surrounding areas are.

Also managed to stumble across a lovely little church: St. Mary the Virgin of Monken Hadley. It dates back to the 15th century, and is just a simple little country church with a rather nice stone tower, and a tiny little cemetery in front. The oldest gravestone I could make out was 18th century, but there were other older ones that were completely illegible. The area around it has quite a few nice old Georgian homes, dating from the period when greater Barnet was a low-key country retreat for Londoners. Also some dreadful McMansions cropping up. It's amazing how undeveloped the area is though. Many of the old town commons remain intact, and there are plenty of horse pastures and playing fields around. I gather the whole area is protected by some sort of conservation scheme that has kept things in check. I think I shall return again this week with a camera so I can post some pictures.

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