The name Wing comes from the Anglo Saxon 'Weowungum' meaning Weowum's People, gradually becoming Wenge and finally Wing. Standing on a ridge rising from the Vale of Aylesbury it must be one of the oldest inhabited sites in the county. Its church of All Saints was begun in the 10th century and has massive Saxon arches. It was called by Sir John Betjeman 'The most important Saxon church in the country.' There are numerous monuments and brasses including one to Thomas Cotes, porter at Ascott Hall 1648.

The Manor of Wing has been held by many different noble families through the ages, including the Crown. Some of the names have been used in the new housing estates — Chesterfield, Over-stone, Wantage, Dormer etc. A charter was granted in 1255 by Henry III for a weekly Thursday market, and for a 3 day Michaelmas Fair. In the Domesday Book, Wing was worth 5 hides — today it has a population of 2800.

Although pleasant it is not a picture postcard village, and is eagerly awaiting the promised by-pass to cure the traffic problems. Only a few buildings are really old - these include: the Cock and the Queens' Head, the Almshouses, the Old Rectory and a number of cottages. The remainder are mostly 19th century brick terraces with much modern infilling, and housing estates on the outskirts. The Almshouses were founded in 1596 by Dame Dorothy Pelham, widow of Sir William Dormer, Lord of the Manor, and have recently been renovated. Princess Elizabeth is said to have slept at the Manor in 1544 on her way from Woodstock to Hampton Court, and Charles I in 1645 on his way to Oxford. The next day a soldier was hanged for stealing Church Plate - local folklaw insists it was a Roundhead!
Dr Richard Dodd became vicar in 1775, but was largely absent, preferring a lively time in London. Two years later he was hanged at Tyburn for forging a bond for £4,200.

During the 18th and 19th centuries the village was said to be very poor. Lace making and straw plaiting by the women helped family finances, the Cock Inn being the receiving centre, with a special room where plaiting could be done in company.

In 1874 Mr Leopold de Rothschild bought a timbered farm house at nearby Ascott, greatly enlarging it in the same style. A variety of substantial cottages were built to house estate workers, and Wing became a typical 'Rothschild village' with nearly all employment and activities revolving around the estate. Many distinguished people came to Ascott House including King George V and Queen Mary, who were regularly driven by carriage to church. Edward, Prince of Wales, hunted from there, the school children being given extra lunch time to cheer him. Mr de Rothschild brought his staghounds to Wing, and until recently the Whaddon Chase Foxhounds were kennelled at Ascott. Mrs de Rothschild took a great interest in the village, setting up a small Cottage Hospital (Charlotte Cottage, now used as a health centre) and presenting school prizes and presents at Christmas — notably boots for children with good school attendance. Ascott House and its beautiful 30 acre gardens are now owned by the National Trust and open to the public.
A large village hall was built in 1905, administered by the Estate and has only recently been handed to the village. Many activities take place here.

In 1976 when the last open field in the middle of the village was threatened by builders, the Parish Council bought it as a public open space, naming it Jubilee Green, where the children can play safe from traffic. A yearly Carnival and Fete there ends a week of various fund raising activities in the summer, with a Christmas bonfire and carol singing, all arranged by a local committee.

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


Wing Parish (Pop. 1,152)

Four Daily Schools, one contains 40 males and 25 females ; another 12 females; another 3 of each sex; and the other (commenced 1833), 20 females.   These children are all receiving instruction at the expense of their parents.

Two Sunday Schools, in one (commenced 1825), chiefly supported by the Vicar,
are 40 males and 35 females; the other is maintained by Wesleyan Methodists, and consists of 35 males and 40 females.


Additional information