It is, not always a simple matter for the traveller, however well equipped with map and compass, to arrive here, even though Mirkmere is to be found right in the centre of the old county of Huntingdonshire. It is a place where the writ of government (of any political shade) does not not always run as expected, where sensible, cultivated and properly educated people live their lives well and where neighbourliness, fun, good food and conversation are known to be important and are still to be found daily.
But you can get here if you concentrate. Head north from Huntingdon into the fens and turn left at Mirkstone’s Gibbet.
I was not born in Mirkmere but came here in 1988 pretty well by accident. It was a hot day in mid-August, the roads were dry and dusty and a thunderstorm threatened. We were looking for a place to put down roots and paused at the cool and shady bar of the Lame Duck where we fell into conversation with two elderly gentlemen. Fred Fuddle and Charlie Nipperkin. In return for constant beers they talked for hours about the history of the village and some of its characters and characteristics. We were entranced and came back many times more that summer to learn all that we could about the place we had decided to make our home. Fred and Charlie – rogues, the pair of them – introduced us to the Mirkmere community and began our integration. The rest, as the cliché has it, is history as we gradually became more and more involved in a life revolving around the giant onion competition at the annual village Show, the beers from Fuddles “Mirkmere Brewery”, the traditions of the village morris dance, the gardens at Mirkmere Hall, farming, hunting, and most importantly – maintaining the town in some degree of isolation.
Today, we feel we have fully become a part of the village to the extent that, as President of the Mirkmere Natural Philosophy and Historical Society, we have been persuaded to prepare this account of its unique life and people while they still survive and while there may still be some people outwith the village who might be interested. Please follow the links above to read about our community.
Remembrancer to the Mirkmere Community