Memories of Hyde Heath

I went to the village school which consisted of one room for the infants and one room for the older children, one teacher and one headmistress. When theĀ  headmistress was sick (which was often) the infants teacher had to teach in the big room and one of the older girls had to teach the infants. The cane was very widely used and I must say the thought of it kept us in order. We left school at 14, though some of the boys left much earlier to work on the farms.

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Little Kingshill

The origins of the village date back to around 900 AD when a monastery was founded where Ashwell Farm (Kingshall) now stands. William the Conqueror gave a Manor and lands to a Saxon nobleman, the Earl of Aufrics, but the lands reverted back to the Crown after the Earl's death. The road through the village was used by drovers of cattle being taken to market in London in medieval times and soldiers protected their progress and had barracks here. As well as Ashwell Farm there is a Tudor house, The Grange, next to the Common, Aufrics Farm of Elizabethan period, and Boot Farm dating back to 1660.

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Hyde Heath

Hyde Heath, the name for which possibly comes from 'the heath belonging to one William de Hyde', is described in one guide book as, '. . . a common with small houses ... probably an early squatting settlement' and in another as 'a scattered district on high ground'. Neither of which are accurate descriptions of our present-day village, to which three parishes can lay claim, their boundaries converging on the Common.

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Great Missenden

There has been a village of Great Missenden since Saxon times. The name is derived from the river Miss or Mease and from the word 'dene' — a narrow wooded valley. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book. Today the river is known as The Misbourne and whereas it was once an attractive stream rising near the Black
Horse at Mobwell and serving several watermills, it is now almost non-existent and is enclosed in a culvert beneath Buryfields Recreation Ground.

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Ballinger & South Heath

Standing on the hills above Great Missenden are the pleasantly rural villages of Ballinger and South Heath. The small village church of St Marys at Ballinger is very quaint and old and has been carefully looked after through the many years by devoted villagers.

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Memories of Little Kingshill

Walking was the usual way of getting around, although on Saturdays a pony and trap ran through the village. This eventually led to a horse and brake which could carry seven people at a time. For private use one could hire a horse and brougham from the Nag's Head Inn.

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Memories of Hyde Heath

When I was young, the highlight of our school year was not so much the last day of the summer term as a day when we held our May Revels. The First of May was always too cold and wet, for the celebrations were held on the common adjoining the school. The performers all had parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, who made up the village community.

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