Abandoned Communities ..... Buckinghamshire
Unless you wish to see the church I hesitate to recommend a visit to Lillingstone Dayrell. Littlecote is a very different matter. If you have a genuine interest in deserted villages the farmer, Ben Hedges, will be happy to let you wander freely around the area where the village, part of its field system, and the fishponds once lay. Get him on to the subject of English Heritage, who have a continuing obligation to monitor the site, and you will learn that he has mixed views. The person who comes nowadays is a nice girl, though she hasn’t been for a while. The one before was a battleaxe. She would just ring up to say when she was coming, without bothering to check if it was convenient. She complained excessively about the activities of Ben’s cows.

The farmhouse and its outbuildings were sold a few years ago and have been developed for residential purposes. Five centuries after the evacuation of the village a small new community has been created.

Make sure you go to the farm shop, which specialises in a superb range of soaps made in a small factory behind the shop. Elaine Stavert, who runs the shop, is proud of the fact that in 2006 she gained the Aylesbury Vale Business Excellence Award for Innovation. Of the large variety of deliciously scented soaps I would especially recommend Seagrass and Watersilk, and Bucks Fizz. On my last visit I also bought Moonlight and Roses for my wife and Strawberries and Cream for my mother-in-law.
Ben Hedges, the present landowner
Part of the new residential development