It’s six days till Christmas (Eve!!) If we were singing the twelve days of Christmas in reverse – and why not – it would be the day your true love gave to you six geese a-laying. Last year when we went over to Cambridgeshire for the family Christmas party for various reasons we found our own accommodation on the River a Lark, in the small village of Isleham and as I commented at the time, what a lovely small place it is. This is what I wrote about it:
The marina is a mile out of the actual village, and that too was lovely, small but cosy lodges, fairly basic but with everything you might need and warm despite the wintry weather outside. Situated roughly between Devil’s Dyke and Shippea Hill, people have lived in the area for thousands of years, right back to the classic ages, iron., bronze and stone. I didn’t know that there was an incredible archaeological find called the Isleham Hoard:
The Isleham Hoard is a hoard of more than 6,500 pieces of worked and unworked bronze, dating from the Bronze Age, found in 1959… it is the largest Bronze Age hoard ever discovered in England and one of the finest. It consists in particular of swords, spear-heads, arrows, axes, palstaves, knives, daggers, armour, decorative equipment (in particular for horses) and many fragments of sheet bronze, all dating from the Wilburton-Wallington Phase of the late Bronze Age (about 1000 BCE). (thanks, Wikipedia!)
You might think, like I did, that the name derives from it being a watery area and the village began on a small island, however it seems it’s probably derived from Gisla’s ham/homestead, Gisla being an early inhabitant of the area, a minor chief maybe!
We unfortunately didn’t have much time to explore the village but it seems an interesting place, with three churches, the oldest being St Andrew’s dating back to the 1300’s. However, that was not the first religious establishment, there was a priory church built about 1090, The Church of St Margaret of Antioch. At some pint, no-one seems quite sure, it was turned into a barn and the building is still there today. We were sorry not to be able to visit it – on the list for next time. We did manage to visit one of the three pubs in the village though, The Griffin, which was a fine and friendly place with decent beer new to us which we very much enjoyed.
The featured image I used for the piece was of a very friendly goose; s/he was such a character and with such a lovey smile on her/his beak, that I use him/her as my profile image: