After lunch Keith and I took a walk around the village of Wilstone. It is a very manicured village I think.
From the canal you turn right and walk down alongside the village hall.
The village pub is The Half Moon. The pub is listed in the Dacorum records as a 16th century building. The front door actually leans over as if drunk. The Half Moon Inn was the scene of an famous Coroner’s Inquest back in 1751, it was held to look into the death of an alleged witch. Ruth Osborn was accused of witchcraft following an incident whilst she was begging for food at nearby Gubblecote. Some of the things she said were taken by others as a curse. Notices were posted that she and her husband John would be publicly ducked at Wilstone on 21st April 1751. Both Ruth and John were stripped naked their toes and thumbs tied and they were then wrapped in sheets so they could not make good their escape, they were then repeatedly ducked in the pond at Wilstone, this resulted in Ruth’s death, as she had been physically held under the water by the village chimney sweep, Luke Colley. Ruth’s husband John survived the ducking only to die some days later. Luke Colley was subsequently convicted of murder and was hanged at Hertford Gaol on 24th August 1751 and his body was hung in chains at Gubblecot. It is said that Luke Colley’s ghost, in the form of a huge, black shaggy dog with yellow fangs, can be seen on dark nights around Gubblecote. I wonder if Ruth and John are still around in ghost form?
The church of St. Cross in Wilstone was built in 1877.
It was originally a Chapel. It is known as the “small church with a big heart”. It is very different to what we are used to seeing.
The village has its own store, which is run by the village. Next door is an antique shop, both were closed. The village store is open:
Monday > Friday: 07.30 to 13.00
Saturday: 07.30 to 13.00
Sunday: 09.00 to 12.00
Spring has sprung in Wilstone with the crocus out on the greens throughout the village.
We walked to the end of the village on the Tring road and turned right to the reservoir.
The reservoir was built in 1802 and it hold 240 million gallons of water WOW. Over the years it has undergone some enlargements.
On the water I saw Grebe, Tufted Ducks, Coots, Pochards, Mallards, Heron. There is a great web showing you the latest sightings.
The steps up to the reservoir is a workout in itself. On such a beautiful day it was well worth the walk.
On returning to the boat, the kettle went on for a much needed coffee. Dinner tonight is Pork which is cooking in the back cabin stove. Stein and Jacquie came past on their boat heading up the Arm to the junction tonight, so we may see them in a few days.