By: Tickner Edwardes (1865-1944)
If you love the quiet of the country - the real quiet which is not silence at all, but the blending of a myriad scarce-perceptible sounds you will get it in Windlecombe, year in and year out. For how many ages a human settlement has existed in this wooded, sun-flooded cleft of the Downs, it is impossible to hazard a guess. Windlecombe is mentioned in Domesday, but the stones of the old church proclaim it as belonging to times more distant still. Neighbourhood, the daily interchange of thought and word and kindly deed, is a necessity for all healthy human life, and the natural medium of all true advancement. And nowhere will you find it of such sturdy growth, rooted in such nourishing, yet temperate soil, than in the villages of modern England.
Although the village of Windlecombe is itself fictitious, it is based on the tiny West Sussex village of Burpham – a place that Tickner Edwardes lived in for a time before WWI. He was to return in 1927, holding the post of vicar at St. Mary’s parish church until his retirement in 1935 and continued to reside there until his death in 1944. Neighbourhood chronicles a number of notable events in Windlecombe and experiences of some of the distinctive characters within this Downland village. - Summary by Steve C