Wooburn

Little seems to be known of Wooburn prior to the Norman Conquest. The parish was at one time in two parts: Bishop's Wooburn and the Manor of Deyncourt. The Manor of Bishop's Wooburn was given as part of the endowment to the Bishopric of Lincoln between 1066 and 1100 and the Manor of Deyncourt was given to a relative of King William — Walter Deyncourt.
There is today very little evidence of the Manors. Wooburn House, which was on the site of the Bishop's Palace, was used as offices by the War Graves Commission during the Second World War. Eventually it was sold, demolished and replaced by a housing estate. In the 1920s a new road was cut through the old Deyncourt Manor lands, separating the parish church from the fields and the old buildings. There now only remains one old cottage in that area.

Traditionally the parish of Wooburn was separated into several smaller parts with their own identity: The Green, The Town, The Moor, The Common, Cores End and the Bourne End of Wooburn. Berghers Hill at Wooburn Common is a very ancient part of the parish; at one time known as Beggers Hill.

The parish church of Wooburn, dedicated to St Paul, dates from soon after the Norman Conquest but it is generally thought that a church stood on the site much earlier than 1066. Over the years the church has been considerably altered and in 1857 the interior was completely restored.

A very well-known person in the village in the first half of the 1900s was Dr Selborne Bailey who died in 1969. He was a churchwarden from 1928-1969, and very much involved with the church and other local activities. He was in charge of the local fire brigade and at the time local brigades were taken over by civic authorities a film was made of the Wooburn fire fighters for posterity.
When Dr Bailey came to Wooburn he 'inherited' Mr Dash who had driven his predecessor on his rounds in a horse and trap. He became almost as well-known as his employer and soon was at the wheel of a car driving Dr Bailey around the village.

To celebrate Dr Bailey's 50 years as a doctor in the parish in 1961 a window was erected in the parish church, paid for by subscriptions from his patients and friends. He had a very strong sense of humour and at that time he is reputed to have said 'It is not in my memory because I am not dead yet'.

Another well known local figure was Herbert Healey who died in 1953. He was a churchwarden and served for thirty-one years. Herbert Healey was Mayor of High Wycombe 1929/31, a governor of High Wycombe Hospital and a manager for several local schools. He had a furniture factory in High Wycombe and was very prominent in Furniture Trade circles.

The Valley of the Wye was at one time noted for the paper mills though most of these are no longer in existence, Wiggins Teape at Glory Mill being an exception. Instead of Thomas &C Green, paper makers at Soho Mill there is today a fairly large industrial estate.

A painting of the village green by Harold W. Boutcher done in 1888, and now hanging in St Paul's parish church, shows that the green is not greatly changed except of course today the shops and houses surrounding it have been modernised and roads built to cater for the present day traffic.

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

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