John Horncapps Lane
John Horncapps Lane currently runs between Galley Lane (just past the church) and the Little Brickhill road, and is sometimes called Sawpit Lane. The original John Horncapps Lane (or Old Jack's Lane) is now a footpath from Green End (starting near the Home Farm lodge cottages) down to Foxholes near Church Farm House. Many old pots have been found at the top of Old Jack's Lane, indicating that in the past there was a pottery here

Old Jack's Lane was a real problem to the Parish Council until the 1970s. A gully runs down the lane, and keeping the lane free of debris, so people could walk, push prams and even cycle down was a constant problem. It would seem that the Parish Council spent more time discussing Old Jack's Lane and the problem of keeping it clear than on any other business between 1910 and 1970!

Top left: Old Jack's Lane before the Second War

Below left: Footpath, which was Old Jack's Lane today

Above: John Horncapps Lane today

John Horncapp

John Horncapp may be a new name for the road cutting through to little Brickhill past Foxholes, but John Horncap (or John Ironcap) is a well known name in both Great Brickhill and Little Brickhill.

John Horncap supposedly wore an Iron or Horn cap hence his name. Reputedly, he had a cave off Old Jacks Lane. The cave tunnelled quite a distance and ended somewhere under Closefields House.

Who was John Horncap? What horror would he inflict on you? One theory is that he was a hangman from the days when Little Brickhill was an Assize town, and executions were many. The gaol was at the junction of the current John Horncapps Lane, the Little Brickhill Road and the track known as Hanging Lane. The Gallows were down the Woburn Road behind Little Brickhill Church and on Galley Lane (or rather the Fenny Stratford Bypass as it is now!) near where it joins the A5.

The iron or horn cap leads to another theory, which is that John Horncapp was a Dane. In 1002 the English massacred the Danes who had settlements nearby in places like Simpson, Newport Pagnell and Woolstone, this led to reprisal attacks on the Brickhills area in the following years.

Not many people walk along John Horncapps Lane these days, and certainly in the past there was some reluctance to use this route between Little and Great Brickhill after dark!