I know, you’re probably wondering what on Earth is a Godcake?
I wondered the same thing after I heard the term in the recently televised revamped version of Worzel Gummidge. It was aired just before Christmas and starred Mackenzie Crook who also wrote and directed the two-part series.
It turns out that a Godcake is an old name for the triangle of grass at a road junction, created as the road splits to go left and right. The name seems to be quite ancient and has been used in various parts of the country at different times. There are some that have escaped modern road redevelopments and in a few places, Godcakes remain cherished local landmarks. Unsurprisingly, most survivors seem to be on small country roads, lanes and other backwaters.
There is at least one still existing in Eastington – this is at the top of the hill at Cress Green. This was edged with kerbstones not many years ago and is now home to an electricity post and salt box, but before that, was simply a triangle of rough grass. Are there any more hidden around the village?
As an aside –
there is a baked puff pastry that contains sweet mincemeat (sometimes laced with a drop of rum). These are triangular in shape and known as Coventry Godcakes, although they are also made in some other parts of the country, and apparently originated in Warwickshire. For some long forgotten reason, they are said to take their name from the grassy triangles at road junctions.
Godcakes were handed out at the beginning of the year or at Easter by godparents to godchildren. Apparently, when a godchild approached their godparent to request a blessing for the year ahead, they would be rewarded with a blessing and a cake!