Long Crendon

Long Crendon was originally called Creodun, a Saxon word meaning Creoda's Hill, Creoda being the son of Cedric, or Cerdic, the first king of the West Saxons. A large village two miles north of Thame, it came into prominence towards the end of the 16th century with its needlemaking industry. Lacemaking likewise was one of its crafts, having been brought into Buckinghamshire villages by foreign refugees as early as the 16th century. It provided work for a large proportion of the women and girls, some of them learning even from the age of five.
Its long meandering main street, bounded at one end by the impressive 14th century grey limestone church, and at the other end by the Churchill Arms, is picturesque with its colour-washed houses and cottages, mostly of the 17th century.
Long Crendon's oldest inn, also in the main street, is the Eight Bells, situated towards the church end and close to the famous old Courthouse. These buildings fairly come alive each year in springtime when a group of dedicated people, old and young, come together in order to re-enact a selection from the York Cycle of Mystery plays in and around our lovely floodlit church. Then, for a memorable week, are you likely to come across all manner of colourfully-attired medieval characters as they emerge from alley and doorway! Ruth Pitter, poet and much-loved local celebrity, has been closely connected with these annual performances, now in their 16th year, and did indeed modify some of the original text.

Long Crendon, in common with many another village, seems to have had its fair share of ghosts! There was the poltergeist believed to have haunted the Courthouse, the galloping horseman of Lower End, an unhappy little lady in much the same area whose soul is now said to be shut up in a salt box buried in a chimney wall at The Mound, and the inevitable woman in grey who is said to haunt the church. She, like the rest of them, is 'friendly and harmless, and glides away to keep her secret'.

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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