Buttway - Cliffe History

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The Buttway
In Edwin Harris ‘History of Cliffe-at-Hoo’ “the Village Green adjoining the churchyard on the south goes by the name of Butt-way, and probably an undisclosed portion of the area upon which the Parish butts were set up in the days when the use of the long-bow was obligatory upon every able-bodied free-man below the rank of knight or Esquire.”
In years gone by when, following the granting of a Charter in 1247 permitting it, a three day fair, was held annually, it is assumed that the Buttway was where the fair was held.
In the early part of the present century, Lord Darnley and the Rector, who were jointly, “Lords of the Buttway” voluntarily, surrendered their rights to the Parish Council, in order that it should serve a ‘public good.’
Harvest Home. (excerpt from Cliffe Parish Almanack, 1868)

On Thursday the 20th August, we held our “Thanksgiving Service” for the blessing of the Harvest. The labourers met on the Buttway at half-past twelve, and walked - each farm under its own banner – to the Church, the bells from the steeple giving out a joyous peal. The service was choral....... The Church as usual was decorated with appropriate Harvest emblems......The dining booths were erected in the Buttway under the shade about 150 labourers sat down to dinner, and their full and hearty enjoyment was the best compliment they could pay to the liberal promoters of the feast.....

The Rev. A. Willis, of New Brompton, then proposed “Success to the Cliffe Harvest Home”, reminding the company that Cliffe was the first parish in the neighbourhood to have such annual gatherings and its annual recurrence in Cliffe was always looked for and hailed with great interest, he hoped the good understanding between master and man, of which it was the token, would continue for many years. The company then advanced to the cricket field, lent by Mr. G. Wood, and the remainder of the day was spent in various games and amusements.

When the shades of evening fell, the band moved off the ground and led the company back to the village green.

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