THE COACHING AGE

‍Kites over Moncks Wood

KITES OVER MONCKS WOOD. 

Within a few miles of Stilton, and between Stilton and Stamford, is a hill called Alconbury Hill. In the days I am writing of, so famous for Miss Worthington and her Stilton cheeses (about the year 1824, and from before that time to 1828 or 1829), there used to be in that part of the country an incredible number of kites — the 'Forked-tail Kyte,' 'Falcon Milvus' Lin. ' Le Milan Royal ' Buff, or what in Scotland were called ' Gleads,' the red feathers of whose forked tail were famous for wincrs of salmon-flies. These birds used to be soaring over the road, and over a wood called Moncks Wood — a wood famed in the Fitzwilliam country; in almost every direction one used actually to see them sitting in the middle of the road, and on one occasion I remember counting as many as twenty- seven in the air at the same time. The preservation of game, I suppose, has got rid of them, for no such bird is to be seen now; and it is wonderful to think how in a few years those birds have become almost extinct throughout England. I have not seen one for at least thirty years, common as they used to be in the days of Stilton cheeses, Miss Worthington, and the old ' Stamford Regent Coach.' 

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Section 1 Menu

The Age of Coaching
Introducing a world of horse-drawn public transport

Beginning to End
How long did the Great Age of Coaching Last?

Coaches to All Parts
The world of coach travel - surprisingly familiar; just slower and wetter.

Where Could You Go?

A list of destinations which is remarkably familiar to the modern day traveller.

London to Stamford

What was it like to travel by coach on a winter’s day. Come on the first stage of a journey from London to Stamford.

Driving a Mail Coach
Mail coaches were the high speed elite. What was it like to drive them?

Two Short Videos
Although we have no films from the time, modern producers have imagined coach travel for us.

Then and Now

Comparing rail and coach travel in 1888!

An Incident at Wansford

Things didn’t always go smoothly and this amusing incident took place on the Great North Road.

Charlies and Hackneys

A recollection of life in London before taxi cabs, policemen and even electricity.

The Peacock at Islington

The northern coaches all stopped here to pick up passengers. The scene was amazing.

Perils by Water

One of the many hazards that could be encountered was flood water. This is near St Neots.

London Coaching Inns

A description of the London termini from which coaches ran

Some famous London Inns

A list of London coaching inns and where you could travel to from each.

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Go to Section 1

Tales of the Road: This section tells what was it like to travel by stage coach in the mid 1800s.

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Travel in England is inseparably connected to the state of our roads. This section looks at the history of British roads.

Go to Section 3

Wheeled transport evolved over many years. This section looks at how coaches developed.

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