Haversham

Haversham is a village in north Buckinghamshire in the United Kingdom, very near to the new city of Milton Keynes.

Haversham is a community made up of two parts, the ‘old village’ and ‘the estate’. It is built in the Great Ouse valley and has stunning scenery of water meadows, weeping willows, kingfishers, swans and the bubbling, meandering river that is a mecca for anglers.

When the great city of Milton Keynes was being developed much of the sand and gravel was extracted from the valley around Haversham so now we are left with lovely lakes, wetlands and walks in protected sanctuaries where many different kinds of birds, flowers and insects thrive.

The ‘old village’ area is dominated by the magnificent church of St Mary, standing on the hill looking down the High Street towards the village Inn, The Greyhound, an alehouse tied to Greene King, from Bury St. Edmunds. To drink the nectar that is the ‘Abbot Ale’ on a warm sunny evening, out in the garden, looking across to the lakes, is a pleasure to behold!

Most of the houses are made of stone, built following the main artery through the village that would have linked the old town of Wolverton to Olney and then on to Northampton. Most of the farms directly in the village have now gone, converted, sympathetically, to “barn conversions”.

The great Church Farm is the last surviving working farm remaining in the village and has been owned throughout the last century by the same family. It is still an area of mixed farming and the farms now thrive out on the fringes of the village, still in the parish, producing milk, beef and crops. Many houses have paddocks in which to graze horses and they can be heard clip-clopping down the street on many a day.

The ‘Estate’ was built in 1936, halfway between the old village and the town of Wolverton. It was built to house managers and workers for the large busy railway works based in the ‘Railway’ town of Wolverton, just a mile away on the other side of the river. A great distinction that Wolverton had: it was the location for the Royal Train when not being used!

Once the estate was complete it more than doubled the number of residents of the village and so a new school was also built within the estate. At one time it also contained a post office and shops but all have now gone, as the great cathedrals known as ‘the superstores’ encroach closer and closer meaning greater convenience for shoppers.

With so few bus routes coming through the village a car is an important and necessary implement but can cause congestion at peak times, because the road through the estate is a rat run for the surrounding villages to get to and from their work in Milton Keynes. For all that to live in the country with the facilities that the great city has to offer on our doorstep, is magnificent.

There are many beautiful walks around the parish and beyond, taking in the countryside, many woods, including some with Bluebells, the river, lakes and the Grand Union Canal, which also cuts past. In fact, close by can be seen two aqueducts for the canal. One is an old iron bridge and the other a new concrete structure taking it over a main road in Milton Keynes.