Have you ever come across this old English nursery rhyme?
I remember being very intrigued by it when I was very young….
The earliest known published version of this popular nursery rhyme and riddle comes from a manuscript dated to around 1730 (but it differs in referring to “nine” rather than “seven” wives). The modern form was first printed around 1825.
There are a number of places called St Ives in England and elsewhere. It is often thought that the rhyme refers to St Ives, Cornwall, when it was a busy fishing port and had many cats to stop the rats and mice destroying the fishing gear, although some people argue it was St Ives, Huntingdonshire as this is an ancient market town and therefore an equally plausible destination.
Last weekend we did a bit of travelling round the countryside, a bit of visiting, a lot of eating. One town we visited was St Ives in Cambridgeshire. A riverside market town, 12 miles north-west of the city of Cambridge.
Due to recent flooding, the water under the bridge is at a fairly high level. There has been a bridge here since before the year 1400. Cars are not allowed over the bridge nowadays.
The fields are flooded – we couldn’t take the footpath.
This pretty house is built on stilts by the side of the river.
St Ives is a very historic market town, with some lovely old buildings. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.