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Wyre Piddle is a village in the county of Worcestershire; it has one pub (the Anchor Inn) and a war memorial. Although it boasts a population of a mere 535 (2001 Census), it has had the distinction of being mentioned in Parliament, thanks to a long struggle by the local inhabitants to obtain a bypass. The locals eventually won the argument and the Wyre Piddle Bypass was eventually completed in December 2002 at a cost of some £5.9 million.

The construction of the bypass inspired local archaeologists to survey the area soon to be buried under concrete and tarmac, which resulted in the discovery of the remains of a Bronze Age cremation cemetery at Furzen Farm, a Bronze Age farm enclosure and a Romano-British farmstead dating from the 1st to the 4th century AD. The village was also the site of the discovery of the Wyre Piddle Hoard in the 1970s, a cache of coins deposited in a jug sometime around the year 1470, which now forms part of Numismatics Collection held at the Shakespeare Centre at Stratford-upon-Avon.

As regards the village's name; the Wyre portion comes from the Wyre Forest whose name is derived from the Brythonic 'gweyr' for 'winding' (probably once the Celtic name of the Dowles Brook which runs through the forest); whilst the Piddle comes from name of the local stream, the Piddle brook (a tributary of the Worcestershire Avon). Piddle in this regard has nothing to do with the nineteenth century slang term for urination but rather comes form the Old English 'pidele', meaning marsh or fen.

With such an evocative name it is perhaps unsurprising that the village has also given its name to the Wyre Piddle Brewery, whose various beers, 'Piddle in the Hole', 'Piddle in the Wind', 'Piddle in the Dark' and 'Piddle in the Snow' all draw heavily on the same joke. Sadly the the brewery has merely borrowed the name of Wyre Piddle, as it is not and never has been actually located in the village itself.


SOURCES

  • John Ayto and Ian Crofton, Brewer's Britain and Ireland (Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 2005)
  • House of Commons Hansard Debates for 18 Mar 1999
    www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/ pa/cm199899/cmhansrd/vo990318/debtext/90318-32.htm
  • Wyre Piddle World War 1 and 2 War Memorial
    Http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Worcestershire/WyrePiddle.html
  • Archaeology on the Wyre Piddle Bypass
    http://worcestershire.whub.org.uk/home/textonly/wccindex/wcc-arch/wcc-arch-research/wcc-arch-surv/wcc-arch-surv-wyre.htm
  • Wyre Piddle Hoard
    http://www.cornucopia.org.uk/html/search/verb/GetRecord/312
  • Wyre Piddle Brewery
    http://www.pub-explorer.com/realale/wyrepiddlebrewery.htm
  • Rude Food
    http://www.dazbert.co.uk/sites/rudefood/index.php?page=food/piddle.htm

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