Sunday, April 25, 2010

A mud wall in Little Bowden

I was too busy delivering for Zuffar Haq yesterday to get out of Market Harborough, so this week I shall be sharing a few curiosities from my files.

This mud wall stands in my own village of Little Bowden, near the Rectory. While you will find dry stone walls in villages on the Northamptonshire Uplands, like Lamport and Draughton, in more low-lying parts of the county mud was often used as a building material.

I don't have a photograph to prove it, but I think the heavy tiles on top - it is important to keep the rain off mud walls for obvious reasons - are a recent addition. Until a year or two ago the wall was topped with corrugated iron, which suggests that it was originally thatched.

You can read more about mud structures in the Harborough area in an article on the local historical society's website.

And, yes, I know Little Bowden is now in Leicestershire, but it was in Northamptonshire until late in the 19th century. The county boundary used to be the Welland, but was moved because Market Harborough had started to spread to the south of the river. You can still see what used to the Northamptonshire police station and magistrates court for that part of town in the Northampton Road.

This means, incidentally, that my cottage, which is now firmly in Leicestershire, was in Northamptonshire when it was built.

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