The Crooked Billet
Sheepridge Lane

Fields by Sheepridge Lane towards the Crooked Billet
A recent photograph showing little has changed

The Crooked Billet today

These houses here are very old,
The Crooked Billet, so Iím told,
Has been an ale house many years
And plentiful its many beers.
Here farmhands spent their weekly pay
On local ale much like today.
Or barge boys on their way downstream
Might take a break so it would seem,
(Their work was on a river barge
Transporting hay bales nice and large
To feed the horses up in town
The dung then spread on fields around).
Alas these scenes are all long gone,
Plus meadow land and peewit song,
But thankfully some farms remain,
And Father Thames is still the same.

The Crooked Billet stood on a busy highway for traffic (ie horse and carts) from east Wycombe across to the River Thames where hay barges were moored on their way up to London, taking hay for the London horses. The barges then brought back the horse manure for the local fields. This was once two cottages and was also a smithy. A drink at the Crooked Billet was a popular walk for Wycombe folk as it was famed for its cider. It also has a ghost, that of a highwayman who was hung for his sins from a nearby tree.
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