Village Sign

Village Sign

The village sign tells the story of Perry from its agricultural roots mentioned in Domesday Book, 1086, (land for two ploughs, woodland pasture one league long and four acres of meadow), up to the present day. The upper half of the sign relates specifically to the village before the opening of Grafham Water in 1966. The shield bears three golden pears (perry being a traditional drink made from fermented pears). The bishop’s crook acknowledges Warden Abbey which used to stand to the southeast of the village and whose monks, in 1208 were managing Perry Wood (shown above and behind the shield). During World War 2, Gaynes Hall was used for training secret agents, and was known to Hitler as ‘The Hornets Nest’ – and represented at the top of the shield by a hornet. After W.W.2, Gaynes Hall became a young offenders institution, symbolised by the key, which also has a relevance to HMP Littlehey, opened in 1988. At the start of the 20th century, the two public houses in the village were ‘The Fox’ (now demolished) and ‘The Wheatsheaf’ Beside the Wheatsheaf on the sign stands a pheasant since, for many years, these common visitors to the village were reared in Perry Wood. The lower half of the sign depicts the arrival of Graham Water and its subsequent development as a centre of national importance for water sports (particularly sailing), trout fishing and bird watching.