We are very excited to be beginning a brand new series at Love Goostrey, where we hope to explore the local history of our fantastic village through a variety of different buildings and areas. And what better place to begin with than the Bog Bean. The information for this piece has come from the wonderful Goostrey Parish Archive who have gathered a huge amount of information across the years to ensure that we don’t forget the rich history of our village.
The Bog Bean was named after that Bogbean plant, pictured below. The land was initially a very boggy, wet area, making it ideal for the plant to grow and thrive, since the plant is usually found in ‘shallow ponds, fens, bogs and marshes’. The plant blooms from March to June and it is named after its leaves which are said to look like the leaves of broad beans. Press cuttings from January 1965 also suggest that the area used to be a farm, named ‘Buck Bean Farm’ due to the abundance of the plant growing in its vicinity.
According to the archive, ‘the flower spikes of Bogbean grow above the water on tall stems. The white flowers are often tinged with pink, and are star-shaped with a ragged fringe. The emergent leaves are trifoliate, having three oval leaflets.’ The plant is common throughout the UK, except in Eastern England. The scientific name for the plant is Menyanthes trifoliata but it has been given a number of local nicknames including ‘Bog Hop’ as a result of the use of the plant in Northern England and areas of Europe to flavour beer as a replacement for the usual Hops. ‘It is also known as buckbean, marsh trefoil or bog-nut.’
If you’d like to see this plant still flourishing, head over to Innominate Tarn near Buttermere.
The Parish Archive kindly provided us with information concerning the Bog Bean area dating right back to the Tudor period. According to preserved press cuttings from January 1965, the Tudor period saw the green being used as ‘a resting place for tired travellers, the focal point of community life when the weather was beneficent, and an alfresco arena for the young bloods of the era who jousted with quarterstaffs and cudgelling sticks.’
The Bog Bean was also accompanied up until around the mid-1990s by Morgan’s garage, which has now become Fieldside Close, where the first houses were built at the start of the millennium. The first picture below shows the garage in the 1970s. The second shows the garage in the mid-1990s when petrol cost just 50p per litre! The third is a photo of the crane used by Morgan’s to recover HGVs from the surrounding area. Next to the crane is stood Don Morgan along with his Alsatian, Tex, a photo from around the late 1960s or early 1970s.
The Archive also kindly provided us with a number of images of the Bog Bean and surrounding area at various stages of its existence from WWII onwards. These are pictured below in chronological order.
This same oak tree can be seen in the cover photo of the post, courtesy of Goostrey Parish Council. The tree is in the far back centre of the photo.
We’d like to thank the Goostrey Parish Archive for the information and images provided by them for this piece. Please do get in touch with the archive if you would like to find out more about the history of the village.