Chalfont St Giles

Introduction

Church: St Giles

Hundred: Burnham

Poor Law District: Amersham

Size (acres): 3726

Easting & Northing: 498193

Grid Ref SU980930 Click to see map

Names


Names & Places

NameTypeNote
Chalfont St.Giles PARISH St Giles
Boderellis Close NAMES name for Bottrell's Farm in 1505
Celfunde NAMES name for Chalfont in Domesday Book in 1086
Celfunte NAMES name for Chalfont in Domesday Book in 1086
Chalfounte NAMES name for Chalfont in 1535
Charlfont NAMES name for Charlfont in 1766
Chawfount NAMES name for Chalfont in 1538
Jurdens NAMES name for Jordans in 1766
Row Wood NAMES name for Roughwood Park in 1826
Congregational NON-CONFORMIST First Mentioned: 1669. New building in 1854
Primitive Methodist NON-CONFORMIST First Mentioned: 1835
Quaker NON-CONFORMIST Jordans. First Mentioned: 1669
Austens PLACE within the parish
Boastridge PLACE within the parish
Goldhill PLACE within the parish
Grove (Fm) PLACE within the parish
Jordans PLACE within the parish
Maltmans Green PLACE within the parish
Newland Park PLACE within the parish
Outfield (Fm) PLACE within the parish
Roughwood Park PLACE within the parish
The Vache PLACE within the parish
Three Households PLACE within the parish

 

Population

Population

These population figures are based on the Census results. The boundaries are those used in the particular census which may vary over time..

Note  
1801 762
1811 924
1821 1104
1831 1297
1841 1228
1851 1169
1861 1217
1871 1243
1881 1264
1891 1286
1901 1362
1911 1762
1921 2074
1931 2882
1941 N/A
1951 4381
1961 5927
1971 7118
1981 7004
1991 6601

There was no census in 1941.

Records

Records

Parish  Church  Register  Start
Date  
End
Date  
Online
Search  
E-Mail
Search  
Publication  
Chalfont St Giles   St Giles   Baptisms   1576   1901   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available
Chalfont St Giles   St Giles   Marriages   1576   1910   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available
Chalfont St Giles   St Giles   Burials   1584   1901   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available

 

School

School Records Project

Place   School Type   Name   Start Year   End Year   Indexed   Document Type
    Chalfont St Giles     Infants     Chalfont St Giles     1873     1897         Logbook
    Chalfont St Giles         Chalfont St Giles     1873     1893         Logbook
    Chalfont St Giles         Chalfont St Giles     1873     1890     Yes     Admissions Register
    Chalfont St Giles     Girls     Chalfont St Giles     1881     1898         Logbook
    Chalfont St Giles     Girls     Chalfont St Giles     1890     1921     Yes     Admissions Register
    Chalfont St Giles     Infants     Chalfont St Giles     1890     1908         Admissions Register
    Chalfont St Giles     Boys     Chalfont St Giles     1893     1919         Logbook
    Chalfont St Giles     Infants     Chalfont St Giles     1897     1931     Yes     Logbook
    Chalfont St Giles     Girls     Chalfont St Giles     1899     1906         Logbook
    Chalfont St Giles     boys     Chalfont St Giles     1891     1921         Admissions Register

 

Surnames

Surnames

These were extracted from our own records and presented as a guide.

PositionBefore 1700  18th Century  19th Century  Overall Surnames  
1 KIBBLE HILL CLARK CLARK
2 DUNTON BODDY HEARNE SAUNDERS
3 GRIMSDALE COCK SAUNDERS HILL
4 RUSSELL NASH KEEN WORLEY
5 GRIMSDALL GREEN REED HEARNE
6 NASH SMITH WORLEY KEEN
7 EWER WORLEY EDWARDS REED
8 EVERED KIBBLE CHAPMAN CHAPMAN
9 CRAFFORD CLARK CRAFT CARTER
10 BODY BUCKMASTER CARTER CRAFT

Description

Chalfont St Giles lies about a quarter of a mile from the A413 about three miles south east of Amersham. This distance from the main road has helped to preserve its identity as a village with church, pond and village green surrounded by cottages. It has a recorded Roman road running through it, so has nearly 2,000 years of history. It is, in fact, a fine example of the development of an English village through the ages.

The church was built in Norman times and the dedication to St  Giles may possibly refer to the beechwoods that once covered the surrounding hills, St Giles being the patron saint of woodlands as well as the sick, poor, lepers and cripples. The east window of the church is said to have been damaged by Cromwell's cannon stationed in Stone Meadow while Cromwell himself was lodged at Stone House. The river Misbourne flows through Stone Meadow and local folklore has it that if it stops flowing it foretells disaster.

The principal great house of St Giles is The Vache, a very ancient manor house. The de la Vache's, the owners of the manor may well have brought the name with them from Normandy when they came to England with William the Conqueror and took possession of the estate. The property passed later to Thomas Fleetwood, Master of the Mint to Queen Elizabeth I, and was held by that family until George Fleetwood, one of the judges of Charles I, was evicted from the property after the Restoration in 1660. The Vache estate is now owned and occupied by the British Coal Board.

Between St Giles and St Peters on the north side of the Misbourne valley is another great house, Newlands Park. It was constructed by a Georgian banker, Abraham Newlands, who eventually became Chief Cashier of the Bank of England. At that time all bank notes were signed by hand and since Mr Newland's signature appeared on £5 notes they were popularly known as 'Newlands'.

Chalfont St Giles is principally known for Milton's cottage, although it was never owned by him. When the Plague came to London in 1665 John Milton asked his friend and former pupil, Thomas Ellwood to find him a refuge. Ellwood rented the cottage on Milton's behalf but could not be on hand to welcome Milton and his family to the cottage because he was in prison for being a Quaker. He was released from prison while Milton was still at the cottage and visited him there. Milton is said to have handed him the manuscript of Paradise Lost which he had just completed, asking for his opinion. On returning the manuscript Ellwood said 'Thou has said much here about Paradise lost, but what has thou to say of Paradise found?' Legend relates that after the Plague Milton returned to London and wrote Paradise Regained. The cottage is now the only existing building in which Milton is known to have lived. It was purchased by public subscription in 1887 in honour of Queen Victoria's Jubilee, the Queen heading the list with a donation of £20.
On the hillside above Chalfont St Giles is an obelisk some 60 feet high made of flintstones with the corners strengthened with brick. Although the obelisk itself gives no clue as to why it is there, local legend has it that at this spot King George III, being out hunting and separated from his attendants by a sudden fog, accosted a yokel and asked where he was. The yokel replied that 'Peters is down there and Giles over yonder but this 'ere ain't rightly a place at all'. To which the King replied 'we will make it a place then'. He had the obelisk erected to mark the spot.

Article written by members of the Buckinghamshire Federation of Women's Institutes for the publication "The Buckinghamshire Village Book" (1987) and reproduced here with their permission

Jordans

About a mile across the fields from Seer Green lies the village of Jordans which takes its name from 'Old Jordans', the farm where Quaker farmers lived in the 17th century.
Jordans village originated when some land became available in 1915-16. A small number of members of the Society of Friends (Quakers) saw an opportunity to establish a village and community where artisans and others could apply their skills for the benefit of the community. Jordans Village Industries was formed, but alas, was not a successful venture and went into voluntary liquidation in 1923.

The village was designed to surround a green; building began in 1919 and commemorative bricks were laid under the first house on February 15 th of that year, and on the nearest Friday to that date, a great supper is held, attended by as many of the tenants as possible. Building continued until 1923, by which time cottages were built round the Green and a number of single houses, all of which are rented on monthly tenancies. The management of the village estate is vested in a committee of 12 members — eight elected by shareholders, three from what is called Tenant Members Committee and one from the Society of Friends.
The Old Jordans farm house was bought by the Society of Friends and is now run as a Guest House and Conference Centre. In the grounds is the Mayflower Barn, reputed to be built of the timbers of the Mayflower which carried the Pilgrim Fathers to America. This barn is used in the summer for concerts and many other events.

On the road to Beaconsfield is the Friends Meeting House, built in 1688. In the graveyard, among many other early Quakers, lies the remains of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania.

In the inevitable progress brought about by time, the nature of the village has modified, though much of the old spirit remains, and during the course of the year, many visitors come to visit the historic Meeting House and enjoy the lovely countryside around.

Article written by members of the Buckinghamshire Federation of Women's Institutes for the publication "The Buckinghamshire Village Book" (1987) and reproduced here with their permission

Notes

Description of Chalfont St Giles from J. J. Sheahan in 1861.

This parish extends over 3,641 acres, and contains 1,217 persons. Rateable value, £4,623. The soil is gravelly with a subsoil of chalk at various depths, and is considered poor. The surface is undulated. The village is situated near the Misbourne stream, in a very secluded spot in a valley, 3.75 miles S.E. from Amersham, 4 miles N.W. from Gerrard's Cross; and 4 miles N.E. from Beaconsfield. A fair for pleasure is held here on the 22nd of June.

William Moreton, Esq., the Rev.Edward Moore, Mrs Priestley, and Mrs Main, are the other principal landowners in the parish.

The Church (St. Giles) stands on very low ground, and the building is an intermixture of flint, brick, and stone, chequered. Its component parts are a nave and chancel, with north and south aisles, and a tower at the west end. The tower is embattled and contains six bells. The building is principally in the Decorated and Perpendicular styles.

Education

Chalfont Saint Giles, Parish (Pop. 1,297)

A small Daily School (commenced 1826) in which 3 males and 6 females are instructed at the expense of their parents

Two Day and Sunday National Schools, attended by 73 males and 57 females
daily, and 78 males and 79 females on Sundays; both are endowed, but the funds being insufficient, they are further supported by voluntary contributions, and small weekly payments from the children. The master's salary is £40 per annum, with a house to reside in; the mistress's £20 with an allowance of £8 for house rent; in addition to which they have annual gratuities of £5, and £4 each, if the state of their respective Schools gives satisfaction to the visitor.

ABSTRACT OF EDUCATION RETURNS, 1833.

Additional information