Wednesday 14 November 2012

English village autumn

Autumn colour seemed to come late this year, but it hasn't disappointed. 

 saturated colours after heavy rain

My favourite season was on full display on a trip to Penn village in Buckinghamshire about a week ago, where I snapped these pics.

Penn means 'hill' or 'headland' in Brythonic, one of the old Celtic languages, named for its position on a hilltop in the Chilterns. From the tower of the 900-year-old church here on the village road, it's supposedly possible to see eight counties ...

but definitely not on a misty morning like this one

As you might have guessed, Penn village is the birthplace of William Penn who set up the colony of Pennsylvania in the USA. Though originally the Penns are thought to have been Norman French nobility and called de la Penne - settlers who came to England following the Norman Conquest in 1066.

Like many Norman-era churches in England, the list of names of rectors or bishops tell this story by themselves. Earlier rectors of Penn's church had French, or at least Frenchified names, like William de London (1273) and Gilbert de Segrave (1304), up until a few centuries later when these change to solid English names like Thomas Goodlake (1400s) or John Davis (1684).

The Crown pub, above in the morning mist, is first mentioned in written records of the 15th century as a local ale-house.

There are plenty of traditional English cottages to be had, if this lifestyle appeals ...

(though they're likely to set you back a bit: your Rose/Oak/Briar cottages and ye olde vicarages mostly come with a fairly hefty price-tag in this village) ...

... and open gates invite you to country trails across surrounding farmland ...

Thanks to the "right to roam" law, there is a public right to access to farmland in Britain.

Veer off the main village road and you'll find yourself in narrow lanes like these ...

where it's difficult to imagine  

what might happen if another car came in the opposite direction

yet amazingly it is possible for two cars to squeeze past - in fact it's an opportunity to stop for a chat ...

Right next-door to Penn is Tylers Green ... 

which for all its small size, checks off all the mandatory features of an English village - a church, a pub, and a village school  - all positioned round the village green ...

... site of cricket games and village fetes in summer and bonfires on Guy Fawkes night, but where in the damp mist and November chill, small girls let out from school were chasing ducks

who thought the weather just fine.


  1. Thank you for reminding me of the beauty of Autumn Karen. My favourite season and one that has virtually passed me by. Hurray! I should be well enough for winter!! Oh well...

    Your photographs are once again just beautiful - the colours are stunning and the subject matter equally as beautiful.

    Are you sure the vehicle drivers are having a friendly chat and not exchanging insurance details?

  2. 'where I snapped these pics'
    How do you do it?

  3. Such stunning photos --and the colors!
    I showed your blog to a young woman I was helping set one up.
    You are a splendid example of doing a blog right--splendid pictures and a minimum
    of useful text.

  4. Lovely images of our hometown Karen...we're so lucky to live in such a beautiful green and historic area of England.
    I LOVE the ducks.
    Hope all good with you ;-)

  5. Your misty countryside day was certainly filled with beauty. Thank you so much, Karen, for taking us along with you. I wanted to linger at each spot...and did.

    Those greens, those bricks, those narrow roadways, those ducks! My mind is now quite full of beautiful images. xo

  6. Heart stoppingly lovely photos Karen. Your pictures emphasise the beauty we sometimes miss as we scurry inside our warm houses to stay out of the cold and the damp. Loved the drivers of the two vehicles chatting on the tiny lane. Driving along those lanes always adds a frisson of danger to an otherwise stodgily safe environment. Sometimes I seek them out! Thankyou. Very lovely.

  7. You created a perfect autumn symphony with these gorgeous images of a day in the countryside!

  8. What a wonderful village. Essentially this is my perfect kind of place to live!! Beautiful images too, I wish I could create shots like that! I have one question though... why would Mr Penn want to leave??

  9. What beauty, Karen. What a feast for the senses. I'm going to give you a nod over at my place, everyone should see these images. See you Tuesday for BIO. xx's

  10. So wonderful village, Karen. And autumn is my favorite season

  11. I came across these gorgeous pictures just looking for some information about Philadelphia, United States and I cannot write at least these few words. Congratulations!! and I agree with all of you. Autumn is the best season in the year. In May, is autumn in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and I am so happy about that.

  12. I cannot help writing etc Sorry.


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