Wood Green the real Thrush Green by Miss Read
Let me take you on a little tour of Wood Green the place which inspired Miss Read’s Thrush Green books. Full list in link. We’ll tour the green anti-clockwise, then the area south of the church clockwise, so we make a figure of 8.
Up the steep hill from Witney (Lulling in the Miss Read books) view North.
East Side (SE corner) View of the hill from the green. Quaker Meeting House on the East side of the green. We rotate left now.
Further up on the East side these cottages are on the site of Ella Bembridge‘s and initially Dimity Dean‘s cottage.
Continuing up the East side.
View to the South East across the green.
Old and new trees.
East Side still- Dr Bailey and his wife Winnie‘s house site. In the book he was able to build on a surgery.
Site of “Tullivers” on the right where Lucy Trigg initially lived then Phyllida Prior and her son Jeremy. The road continues to the left of the photo where the Lovell‘s lived up the road from Thrush Green.
North Side (NE Corner) This new building stands on the corner of the North side of the green. I think this is the retirement cottages site in the books.
Some of the old outbuildings remain. I loved this one as it was such an odd shape. 🙂
There are 4 houses to the North side of the green abutting one another instead of the one big place lived in by the architect Edward Young and his wife Joan, and later Ben and Molly Curdle with them.
North side. The trees are where the New Yatt Road is.
(NW Corner) West Side. This council building is where Harold and Isobel Shoosmith live in the books called “Quetta”
This house is on the site of the Victorian school and school house in the books where Dorothy Watson and Agnes Fogerty the school teachers lived and worked. There was never such a building though in real life.
The 3 Pigeons Pub is the 2 Pheasants in the books. Pictured in the centre of this group of cottages. Albert Piggott and his wife Nelly live in the cottage to the left of it.
View to the left of the 3 Pigeons.
Church on South Side of the Green Looking South towards Holy Trinity Church- St Andrews in the books. I don’t think there were ever any statues on the green.
When I was little the slide was at least 20ft tall and painted red here and the roundabout was a very heavy wooden one you had to climb up to sit on in green. To play here was an adventure. Nowadays though everything is made ultra safe and looks tame compared to what I had. I think I was very lucky.
South view of church.
The first angel I saw in my life- so serene. I liked saying hello to her when I visited the park. I think it infuriated my Mother who was always too busy for such nonsense.
Detail to South facing door of church.
View from South East corner.
If we look behind us to the steep hill we came up (SE corner) and go right this time (lower part of the figure of 8).
you will see lots of cottages along the South side which don’t appear in the books at all.
They are on the site of the non existant Victorian Rectory where Charles Henstock lived at the mercy of his housekeeper until he married Dimity Dean.
The road leads to the one running to the New Yatt Road past the 3 Pigeons, so this forms a little green of it’s own to the South of the church.
View of the little lane on the South West corner not mentioned in the books.
West Side Turn a little to your right and look West (same side as the 3 Pigeons) and you see a narrow lane. This is the footpath which leads down to the fictitious but fabulous Dotty Harmer‘s cottage, where she is later joined by her niece Connie and Kit Armitage. Lulling Woods is further ondown the lane in the books but these days it leads to a 1970s housing development and the Hailey Road beyond that. As a child I remember seeing the back of a farm which must’ve had a front on West End (road) so perhaps this inspired Miss Read when she began writing about Thrush Green having lived here 1940-45.
Closer look at the West side houses.
West Side still.
The cottage to the left of the pub was Albert Piggott‘s in the books.
Closer view of the 3 Pigeons Pub- 2 Pheasants.
North Side Here is the view of the 4 houses to the North of the green (Edward and Joan Young‘s House site). Ooo that man infuriated me at times! I’m glad it hasn’t changed in my lifetime. It would be so sad if developers got hold of this green and built little box houses on it like they have on other greens in Witney.
I wonder how many children played here and imagined who lived in these houses. I’m glad Miss Read got her’s printed so we can all share in her delightful world of Thrush Green.
There is a Thrush Green quiz here. There was a surprise for me when I was looking for useful links- there was a new Thrush Green book published last year 14 years after the last one! There is a review of “Christmas at Thrush Green“ here with Amazon buy it links. I am overjoyed as I love this series. I must say though that the ideas are Miss Read’s but it was written by her series editor so it’s likely to be a little different. I so so want to read more about the characters I love, so hopefully this wont be the last even though Miss Read (Dora Saint) is officially retired.
I hope you enjoyed seeing the real place of Wood Green as it was a couple of weeks ago when I visited. Next time a smaller trip to Waterperry Gardens near Oxford, and whatever I have made now my ironing is done. I have a lot of template cutting to do and I’ve been ducking it.
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