Things to do in Furneux Pelham
PUBLISHED: 11:52 07 October 2014 | UPDATED: 11:52 07 October 2014
clive tagg 2014
Sarah Hammill finds plenty of good reasons to visit this attractive East Herts village
Furneux Pelham has over 30 footpaths and bridleways to explore, along with pebbled lanes, ancient field baulks and green ways which are a habitat to a variety of species including muntjac deer, hares and the great spotted woodpecker. Journalist and resident, Christopher Hadley, is an avid walker and spends his free time hiking through the countryside of the parish. Recommending his favourite routes, he says: ‘Walk along the mysterious Violets Lane and look out for fairies and fairy stones (the heart-shaped fossils of the urchin-like micraster). In the north of the parish explore the deep cutting through the chalk along the bed of the River Ash.’
Christopher also has a suggestion for the most scenic spot: ‘I particularly like the views from Pheasant Cottage. Sit on the bench at the end of The Causeway and enjoy the best views over the Ash Valley and towards Patient End Farm on the clay plateau between Furneux Pelham and Braughing.”
St Mary the Virgin church stands proudly in the heart of the village. Crafted from flint, the ancient building of worship dates back to 1162. The Norman de Furneux family, from where the village gets its name, regularly used the church. Many visitors are drawn to its unusual inscription around the church clock, which reads: ‘Time flies, mind your own business’, a statement that leaves some visitors scratching their heads, but without the modern reading of ‘don’t be so nosy’, probably means take care to live well while you have the time.
Brook Cottage Farm is a newly opened horse riding school for children and adults, it also offers a choice of fresh food including quail’s eggs and Christmas turkeys, all of which are compassionately farmed and free range. The farm is home to Louise Seddon and family. After 10 years in the City Louise moved to Furneux Pelham and hasn’t looked back. The riding school is a great outing for young children, who can experience horse riding on 28 acres of land while being taught essential skills by a British Horse Society qualified instructor. Parents can sit back and relax with a cup of tea.
A weekend treat for both locals, neighbouring villages and tourists alike is a Furneux Pelham Cricket Club match. ‘The matches are very much looked forward to,’ says player Edward Grant. ‘The game is always dramatic as there is a surprising amount of rivalry between competing villages and the players are of an extremely high standard. It’s a great social occasion for players and spectators alike – we all have a BBQ and go for a drink afterwards.’
Following the near closure of the only pub in the village, The Brewery Tap freehouse is now under the new ownership of Carrie and Andy Braid and it clearly is the social hub of Furneux Pelham. The pub has an extensive array of fresh produce and seasonal themes, and is ideal for children, with a large play area in the garden along with three friendly pigs, Margo, Jerry and Digby, as well as the Braid’s pet labrador, Stanley,
Andy says, ‘The Brewery Tap is very popular with walking groups as there is an eight mile walk that starts and finishes at the pub. But for those who prefer a shorter route there is a short cut back after three miles.’
Since 1986, the villagers have played host every year to the popular Furneux Festival. The event which raises money for good causes has expanded to include a wide range of attractions, including live music and a classic car show. This year’s festival took place on September 27.
The village hall has a tuck shop on Friday afternoons. Pop in after a walk and snack on sandwiches, ice creams and chocolate.
Furneux Pelham History Group meet on the third Wednesday of every month.
The Brewery Tap hosts themed grill nights on a Thursday, while Tuesday is live music night.