When my cousin told me about Downham, a village almost kept in its complete historic state, I was intrigued. How can a town in the 21st century, lived in my 21st century people, be unchanged by 21st century requirements?
Well, it can! Any cables, aerials etc must be kept from the front of the house, which means walking around from the road, the houses look exactly the same as they would 100-200 years ago. So they don’t live in the dark with no internet connections etc, but it gives you the feeling like they do. This is all thanks to the Assheton family, who are responsible for keeping the village and surrounding a well-managed estate. No one can buy property here, you rent it from the family, who have owned the estate since the 1600’s. How very English!
We were going to stop off at the “The Assheton Arms” pub for a lunch, however it was so full there were no tables available, so instead we wandered around the village.
My cousin, Tom, pointed out the hills in the horizon, told me it was Pendle Hill, the site of the early 17th Century English Witch Trials. One of the most famous of its kind worldwide (probably shadowed by that other famous site in New England, USA). This area is also popular with hang gliders and paragliders.
Around the village, I couldn’t see any signs of modern technology, it was peaceful and relaxing. Everything seems so simple and if there were no cars then you would be forgiven for thinking you had gone back in time. In fact, a few historic based TV shows have been filmed here, I guess that’s how they made it look more authentic!
We saw a few cyclists around, and no doubt there would be hikers in the area as this is perfect for those wanting to go off the beaten track.