Around here in North Yorkshire, we have quite a few small villages which were originally Estate villages - that is where the Lord of the Manor owned the whole village, which was lived in by his workers.
Gradually these villages have been sold off so that now almost all the houses are privately owned. Often even the 'big house' itself has changed hands. In fact I don't know of a single Estate village which still exists intact. I do however, know of quite a few that started off that way maybe a century or two ago.
Such a one is a lovely little village near to us called Constable Burton. One thing it has is a really thriving Village Hall where the village hall committee put on coffee and cakes, or afternoon teas - all kind of things - and this morning a 'table top sale', to which friend W and I went. We had a wander round - buying the odd thing and having a go on the tombola. Then we went on to friend M's for coffee and pastries (very yummy pastries they were too) and a lovely morning's chat. (funny isn't it, but it only seems to be women who do this - has anybody heard of a group of men sitting chatting all morning over coffee?)
The farmer meanwhile went to a Farm Sale. Further up the Dale a farm has been sold as the farmer retired and today was the day for selling all the paraphernalia of farming, from hoes, rakes and shovels right up to tractors and muck spreaders. There was a huge turnout apparently, most of whom had no desire to buy anything but wanted to find out how much things would make. The farmer bought nothing but he did meet lots of friends and had lots of chats and came home with a lot of information, even if it was not gleaned over coffee and pastries.
Back to out visit to Constable Burton. The Village Green, is so pretty, particularly at this time of the year when the leaves are turning. At the bottom of the slope runs our beck (the same one which runs through our fields). It runs through the Hall grounds before getting to this point. There is a story that a century ago they used to breed trout in the grounds and a net was stretched across so that the trout could not swim back upstream to our village. The village lads used to creep down at dead of night and remove the net so that next morning they could catch a big fat trout for breakfast.