The `Luton Hoo' we kids romanced over in those far off times of our schooldays, does actualy exsist. Today it is a large luxury hotel, but then it was a Large manor house near Luton and Harpenden. What we children thought was a ruined big house, the remains of which were lost, was in fact an exsisting house which in earlier times had a sphere of influence reaching Hanslope, which is how it was known of, albeit with a confused and inacurate view. A long tunnel it would be, if it were a fact? A schoolboys vivid imagination, magnified by rumour and speculation, truth had little to do with it, right? There is the chance also that there was confusion caused by another Hoo, Lilly Hoo was an old farm somewhere beyond Stocking Green Farm.
One might be puzzled today at the size of the area covered here, children today do not go far from home unacompanied, but back in the fifties it was not uncommon for children to range quite large distances as most of us had bicycles, the markets/shops of Newport Pagnal, Wolverton, Stony Stratford, Buckingham and Northampton would be considered within easy reach of a 10 year old child on a cycle, in Hanslope.
The ruined church and village that we kids had targeted, were likely the ruins Stanton Low and St Peter's and did have a manor at one time? But today they are not so visible from the road as the hedgerows are now a healthy feature of woodland proportions, they don't lay hedges like they used to! A short walk or even a drive however and the churches remains are quite prominant. but the mounds that were the cottages are a lot less obvious now, time has took its toll of these humble dwellings of the working folk who once lived here, Stanton Low was abandoned late in the nineteenth century. These mounds were to the east of the ruined church, you can still see some of the iregularities on the google maps satelite view.
From the north and Newport end of the Black Horse bridge parapet, turn into the towpath, it looks as though this is accessible by car today, drive or walk along the towpath on banks of the Grand Union Canal, soon this turns into a track that separates from the towpath and the ruined village would have been along on your left, beyond this you can see the remains of the church. The church has been `tidied up' since I was last here and now has a preservation order protecting it. Gravel extraction and the developement of the lakes and canal as a leasure amenity, have done little to enhance these ruins.
Wikimapia illustrates this nicely on:- http://wikimapia.org/#lat=52.0765981&lo ... 17&l=0&m=b
cut and past into your brouser if this doesn't link up.
* `Senior moment' people, for Pack Horse, read Black Horse! err! Sorry, um!