Walks & History
Our name – “The Boot” So why is the pub in Bledlow Ridge called The Boot? Of course, many of these tales are based on legend so cannot be authenticated exactly. However, there are potentially two reasons. Both are associated with a parish priest of North Marston in Bucks, John Schorne, dating back to 1290 – 1314. First, he is attributed with discovering a well, whose waters were reputed to have miraculous properties. The waters were thought to cure ague and other ailments and folk travelled from far and wide to avail themselves creating, some say, a medieval religious cult. As the pilgrimage to the well grew many houses on route started serving beer as refreshment to the pilgrims, with several calling their place ‘The Boot’.
Also, John Schorne’s reputation for holiness was such that he is believed to have cast the devil into a boot as part of his preaching thus bringing peace to the village. His remains were later moved from North Marston to St George’s Chapel, Windsor, the burial place of English monarchs.
There was also a rector in Princes Risborough in c1289 called John de Schorne who could well have been the same person. Hence another close link to the village of Bledlow Ridge.
Walks from The Boot with a bit of history thrown in!
Bledlow Ridge, like so many villages, has a varied history. If you walk from our pub through the village you will come across many aspects of past village life.
The Boot was granted its licence in 1842 and the current building dates from the early 19th century although there have been a few alterations.
The Boot is the only pub left in the village now, but at one time there were as many as four. If you head towards Chinnor before the end of the village there was a pub called The Two Brewers which burnt down at the beginning of the 1900’s. It is now a private dwelling called Whiteleaf.
In the opposite direction towards Wycombe first would have been The Light Dragoon which closed its doors in the 1920’s. Second you would have arrived at The White Mouse which was in the The City near the cricket field. It also is now a private dwelling.
If you are walking in this direction you are taking one of the routes the wool pack trains used from the West of England crossing the Ridge from Radnage to Princes Risborough via Routs Green. The Old House near the beginning of the village from Wycombe was noted for a large loft where fleeces were stored for collection by woolpack men who plied their trade between Wantage and London. Cattle and sheep were also driven on this route from Thame market. This is why there are 4 village ponds that these animals used on their journey. The first as you come into the village is just past Scrubbs Lane on the right. The second is opposite Moorlands Farm, the third is in The City and the largest is past the pub heading for Chinnor opposite Chapel Lane. It is 35 perches in size which is an historic measure 1 square parch equals 25.3 sq metres.
Lacemaking was one of the most important industries in Bledlow Ridge and thrived from the 17th century through to 1870 when mass production took over. Children aged 5 to 13 in the village were sent to lacemaking schools of which there were at least two. Both on the main road, Yew Tree Cottage and Lilybank Cottage were the main locations.
There was a windmill in the village from 1797 until 1914 which became a water tower till 1933 on the end of what is now Windmill Lane. It was able to turn to face the wind which was not that common for windmills before eventually being demolished.
There are numerous footpaths on both sides of the Ridge taking in such lovely landscape. There is Lodge Hill one side and Yoesden Wood with its own nature reserve on the other. In fact there is a path almost opposite the pub towards Wycombe that takes you down to the wood. This is also a link to that area https://www.bbowt.org.uk/nature-reserves/yoesden
There are numerous beautiful walks in our area and in the immediate vicinity of the pub. We will be posting some examples of these soon.