Opposite the house is a field that, for most of the twenty years I have known it, has been used for grazing horses. The old man who owned the field in the 1990s lived in a small bungalow opposite. The house is long gone, as is he, but his legacy continues and most days we would have the pleasure of watching the horses grazing from our bedroom window.
The road next to the field is a public right of way that is meant to give a quick vehicle link between West Delph and East Delph. When I was working, I and other residents used the shortcut regularly, these days the garage workshop next to it seems to be using the road as an extension of their yard – it is very unlikely that the road use has changed, so hopefully the next owner of the property will be able to re-establish the right of way without any hassle.
Walking down West Delph, beyond the houses at the end, is a footpath that takes you down to Morton’s Leam, the gentle stream that winds across the fields into the River Nene. A dozen or so yards beyond the last house is the man-made floodplain, so in winter the fields beyond are deliberately flooded to protect Peterborough. There is a distinct height difference between the houses along West Delph and the field.
The word, Delph, is an ancient word meaning Dyke. In this area the Delph was an enhanced boundary between the Fen Floods and the Town.
The barrier along West Delph is still high, the barrier along East Delph has been eroded over the years and is not so strong. In winter the water on the field forms long flat sheets of ice that have been known to be strong enough to support a car and for many years, the field near the Dog in a Doublet Bridge was used for ice skating events.
You will probably not notice the incline as you walk down West Delph, but if you walk as energetically as our dog used to make me, you will definitely notice the steadily rising hill as you walk back to the house!