Ford Street crosses the River Great Ouse running in a north-west to south-east direction from Well Street to Bridge Street. Its current appearance belies its historical importance as the main coaching road into Buckingham from London. There was formerly a six-arched stone bridge that crossed the River Great Ouse, which has been variously known as the Sheriff's Bridge or Woolpack Bridge and is mentioned in Samuel Pepy's diary. In 1670 a journey from London to Buckingham would have taken you four days by stage coach and you would have entered the town across the bridge at this site.
Today a modern bridge provides pedestrian access across the river.
In 1805 the Duke of Buckingham paid for the construction of Long Bridge (now known as London Bridge), a short distance to the north-east of Ford Street, creating Bridge Street.
This became the main access route into Buckingham from London and Ford Street and Well Street were subsequently relegated to quiet backwaters.
In the 19th century, the site between Ford Street and Bridge Street was used as a gas and coking works. The large gasholder which stood on the site and has now been demolished was a local landmark. The public house on the corner of Bridge Street and Ford Street, was built in 1835 to cater for the employees of the gas works. Also located on Ford Street is the house of the manager of the gas works, which has a distinctive round corner brick elevation.
In recent years the site of the gas works was cleared and a new residential development spans the land between the ford and the "new" bridge.
The Duke of Buckingham's bridge can be seen downstream from the Ford Street footbridge. For those interested in the history of the Coadestone factory in Lambeth and their “secret recipe” for an artificial stone (as used for the lion sculpture on the south bank of Westminster bridge in London), the bridge has two commissioned plaques:
On the side facing you is an Aylesbury Duck (which cannot really be viewed from any other public location) while on the eastern side, nearest to the children's play area and skatepark, you'll find the coat of arms of the Temple Family.
Although described as a 'ford' the crossing can be quite deep when the river is in flood and in 1979 a visiting football team playing at the adjacent ground was accidentally (or deliberately?) misdirected across the ford resulting in the coach floating downstream and blocking the river!
From here follow the river upstream through Chandos Park and cross over the wooden bridge towards the University to BC2 - The Station - Buckingham Crossing
This is one of the Buckingham Crossing Series
A series of caches around Buckingham Town linked to bridges and other crossing points.
Because of the high muggle presence all the caches are hidden micros or nanos each containing a clue to the location of a larger hidden bonus cache. Please carefully replace them exactly as found after logging.
The circuit is best followed in sequence with recommended parking at the town's main car park (N 52° 00.030 W 000° 59.050) (small charge - free on Sundays & Bank Holidays) and follow the river upstream.
Many of the crossings are over water which can be deep in places and occasionally there is steep terrain so please take care with small cachers. Unfortunately none of the caches are fully accessible by wheelchair.
There is also free car parking roadside at Station Road (The University of Buckingham car park (N 51° 59.620 W 000° 59.400) has restricted access & opening times) and at Bourton Road (N 51° 59.660 W 000° 58.200) These are close to the western and eastern parts of the series respectively but may result in you having to retrace your steps at times.
It's recommended that you allow at least 2 hours to complete the series. Longer if you want to grab some of the other caches around the town.
Colonel's Kernel (Premium Member's Cache)
Ouse Valley Walk - Buckingham #1
Well, well, well
If you have time you can also visit saza's series of caches to the south of the town.
The Buckingham Crossing Series
BC1 - The Ford - Buckingham Crossing
BC2 - The Station - Buckingham Crossing
BC3 - The Green Man - Buckingham Crossing
BC4 - The Narrow Crossing - Buckingham Crossing
BC5 - The Old Bridge - Buckingham Crossing
BC6 - 'Swan' Bridge - Buckingham Crossing
BC7 - Stratford Bridge - Buckingham Crossing
BCX - Bonus Cache - Buckingham Crossing
Buckingham welcomes careful cachers