Bellingdon

Bellingdon is a small village about a mile out of Chesham on a ridge of the Chiltern Hills, 600 feet above sea level.
Before the Second World War this was a close-knit community with most of the villagers employed in farming and brick-making. The squire was Mr William Lowndes who lived at The Bury in Chesham.
The children walked to the next village at Asheridge to attend school. There were no buses and they walked through the fields and looked for the first honeysuckle leaves in the spring and they knew where the birds' nests were.
Their parents grew all the vegetables in their gardens and they had cherry, apple and plum trees as well. They were able to find wild raspberries and crab apples in the woods.

The church is still the centre of the village activities. It is a small wooden building about 100 years old.
There used to be two public houses, The Bull and The Golden perch. The latter one was demolished years ago.
About 50 houses have been built since the war, reducing the farmland. Small farms have been taken over by larger farms. Far fewer men are needed on the farms and they now work in the factories in Chesham or commute 'up the line' to London by car or train.
The Village Hall was built 38 years ago on ground given by Miss Marian Thompson, the first W.I. President. The Hall is well used by the various village societies.

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