Breadstones

Back in 1973 I was given a book called Facets of the English Scene. It featured text and photos by a chap called Garry Hogg and it showed quirky items and places. They obviously appealed to Mr Hogg and they also appealed to me. One of the photos was this one.

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This shows a bit of wall supporting the churchyard at a village called Great Wishford. It has plaques set in it which show the price of a gallon of bread at different times since 1800. Back then it was the time of the Napoleonic wars and it seems Wishford people felt the price of bread was too high. Certainly it was only a quarter of the 1800 price in 1904.

Great Wishford wasn’t far from where we lived and in 1974 we went to see the stones for ourselves. By then a new one had been added since Garry took his photo.

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Stones continue to get added and my most recent photo was in 2012.

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It records up to the year 2000 when bread was priced at £3.72 per gallon – that’s 83p for a large loaf. It’s probably time for another stone soon.

For anyone who wants to find this pretty village, it is close to the A36 and the River Wylie between Salisbury and Warminster. If you catch the service 2 bus from Devizes to Salisbury you’ll probably go through the village.

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