This is an ancient village, to the 'real' locals, families who have lived in these hills for generations, not relative newcomers, or 'people from off' like us, it is a town, in spite of only boasting 900 souls, a number which includes people living in the surrounding hamlets; it is a town because it has a town hall. In the days before public transport and private cars, when farmers took their produce to market by horse drawn carriage, Valley's End was a flourishing market town. From miles around farm labourers, farmers, and their wives and children came to Valley's End, which had a school, the big church, many pubs, and a great variety of shops from drapers, tailors, shoe shops and cobblers, hardware stores, seed merchants, to grocers, butchers, and bakers and probably even a candlestick maker. People simply lived very simple lives centred on small communities.
Many houses are built from local stone. In fact, once the Lord of the Manor had left his Castle, the local population promptly helped themselves to the fallen masonry from the crumbling building. Half of the houses in Valley's End owe their picturesque exterior to building materials 'found lying around'. This was all centuries ago, of course, nowadays the reclaimers would get there first.
The other predominant building material is red brick, as seen here in these wonderful 17th century chimneys.
Farming was thirsty work. Farmers and their labourers. the craftsmen living in the town, the blacksmith and his helpers, the stallholders in the market, shopkeepers and civic dignitaries needed regular lubrication and on market days, special days and holidays, the pubs in Valley's End were busy. Now there are just three left; and one of them is closed 'for permanent refurbishment'.
This is one of he lucky survivors. It even has a few bedrooms for hire.
Tiny Valley's End did not only possess many pubs but also a number of churches. There was the big church, dating back nearly a thousand years, with a few anglo-saxon remnants still visible today. But there are two other chapels, the Methodist Chapel and this tiny chapel which is part of the almshouses built in 1614 to provide charitable accommodation for twelve old men of good character.
The last house is a relatively new house, hidden in its pretty garden and sheltered by some very ancient trees, which were planted long before this house was even thought of; to this house I now turn my steps, because this is where I live.